By Thomas Moran | Broadcast Reporter
Every year, hundreds of students take to the stage of Waco Hall dressed in colorful outfits, ready to raise their voices in song in Pigskin Revue. Pigskin, which takes place every fall during Baylor Homecoming, showcases the eight top acts from All-University Sing each spring. Although Pigskin attendees only see a two-hour show of beautiful singing, dancing and live music, much more goes on behind the scenes than what occurs on the stage.
Putting on a show like Pigskin requires advanced lighting and stage coordination. As stage manager, Houston junior Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis is in charge of ensuring these complex elements occur seemlessly throughout the first act of the show.
“I’ve been working here for over two years now,” Hernandez-Simeonidis said. “Basically, what I do is I have all four of the acts’ sheet music. I do Tri Delt, KOT, Chi O and FIJI, and I have all of theirsheet music. In all of the measures, there are certain cues —light cues, audio cues, the house curtain, any hanging props and any dry ice cues.”
Hernandez-Simeonidis talks to her team through a head set to ensure that everyone knows what they need to do and when through the performances.
“It’s really hectic, and that’s what I really love about it,” Hernandez-Simeonidis said. “It’s just a fun time.”
Some of the unseen participants of the show provide perhaps the most integral element of Pigskin Revue — the musical accompaniment. Not missing a beat, several artists reside beneath the stage with a wide variety of instruments to produce the live music, indistinguishable from their original recordings.
The man behind the drum set is Virgina resident Scott Amman. Amman has been the drummer in All-University Sing and Pigskin Revue for the past 24 years, only missing a few performances since he was a graduate student in the School of Music.
The band meets a few days before opening night to learn the music and practice with the performers.
“For Pigskin, we come in on Monday and run through all the music just with the band,” Amman said. “It takes about four or five hours to knock the dust off of it. Tuesday we work with the acts on stage for the first time and run through each act three times. Wednesday is a dress rehearsal. We just do it one time for each act. Then we have a show on Thursday, two shows Friday and a show on Saturday.”
The band has grown quite close, with little fluctuation in the members.
“It’s always a lot of fun music to play,” Amman said. “Everyone in the band has been doing it for at least ten or twelve years. So, it’s always fun to see people I don’t always get to see because I live halfway across the country.”
The audience gets a treat when the witness the work of the countless men and women come together on stage. McKinney senior Amanda Muck performed as a bowling pin in Kappa Alpha Theta’s performance “Alley Kats.” The performing groups dedicate countless hours each week leading up to the event preparing and polishing their acts.
“The hardest part of Pig Skin is making time for the practices,” Muck said. As a biology major working three jobs, it’s a little tough to fit in.”
Despite the hard work, performing on stage with friends makes the whole experience worth the trouble, muck said.
“Our hard work has really paid off,” Muck said. “It is so much fun to be on stage with our sisters.”
Once Pigskin Revue is over, stage crews, performing groups and musicians will begin their preparation for All-University Sing in the spring.