Sing chairs give peek into process

Sing chairs are tasked with creating their acts from the ground up each year including lights, choreography, etc. Photo courtesy of Greta Gould

By Greta Gould | Reporter

From the first performance in 1953, students have gone above and beyond to showcase their organization in All-University Sing. Sing has become a tradition at Baylor University, going from “eight clubs singing three songs each” to over seventeen groups, the Student Activities website said.

Students are given the opportunity to put on a 7-minute performance of singing and dancing in order to compete against other organizations. These performances are created and choreographed by Sing chairs who devote hours of their weeks to composing an act.

Sing chairs are elected for each organization participating. These Sing chairs will construct an act from the ground up which includes themes, songs, choreography, backdrop, lighting and many other components.

Temple senior Tristen Coffee is currently serving as one of Chi Omega’s five sing chairs. Coffee serves as the backdrop chair where she focuses on creating a unique backdrop to go along with the theme of their act.

“Being a sing chair is a big undertaking,” Coffee said, “I don’t think you realize how much work goes into it until you are in the position, but it really has been one of the most rewarding and formative experiences I’ve had in college.”

Sing chairs tend to be chosen based on an application and interview process. People are chosen to be Sing chairs based off of leadership and communication skills as well as prior experience in vocals or dance, Coffee said.

After performing for two weekends in a row, judges will vote on which acts will progress to Pigskin in the fall. Pigskin allows for the top eight acts to perform during Homecoming weekend in the fall. Of these eight acts, three are given awards for first, second and third place.

Southlake senior Lauren Lucas served as a Sing chair for Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority last year. During her time as a sing chair, Kappa’s act, “Kappa Karwash” placed second in All-University Sing.

“Being a Sing chair was a whirlwind of emotions,” Lucas said. “So many hours behind the scenes go into the act that people don’t realize or see and just rallying together 250 girls is a tough thing to do, but it was so worth it because we ended up getting second place which was really gratifying and amazing.”

Sing chairs and participants devote hours of their weeks to these acts in order to make them as best as they can be. Most organizations have three to four practices per week, which can go late into the night. Most of the time, Sing chairs stay later and are working on the act seven days a week.

“Sing has really been my whole life this semester,” Coffee said. “We practice for two hours every night Monday through Thursday, sometimes even Sunday through Thursday, and then each week varies because you have to plan for open stages, tech rehearsals and costume fittings.”

Another major component of putting on an All-University Sing performance are the Student Production Committee members who also devote hours of their weeks to assisting the sing chairs.

San Antonio senior John Abiassi served as a student producer for a year before he moved to Dallas to pursue his degree in the nursing program.

“We are the unbiased sounding board of the whole operation,” Abiassi said. “You’re literally there from the conception of the idea to the moment your chairs hear the results.”

Student producers are assigned acts in which they are able to watch practice and performances in order to provide helpful feedback about the act which Sing chairs may not have noticed, Abiassi said.