Six standards that can make or break a Sing act

By Julianne Fullerton | Copy Editor

All-University Sing, one of Baylor’s most beloved traditions, is not just for fun. It’s also a competition. With only eight acts advancing to Pigskin Revue in the fall, competition can be fierce, especially in years like this one, with 20 Broadway-style performances from different organizations. There are various categories that factor into the judges’ scoresheets, but here are six elements that can make or break any Sing act.


A Sing act must appeal to judges in more ways than one, but especially visually. Colors, patterns, designs and even types of costumes are specifically chosen to make acts look their absolute best. It was no accident that “It’s a Gnome’s World” took first place in 2022 with Kappa Omega Tau’s symmetrical hats, white socks and complimentary color costumes.

The color of costumes can be key in making lines look cleaner and choreography look sharper, especially by wearing white sleeves and white socks. On the flip side, if choreography isn’t all together, this costume will reveal how unclean and disorganized an act is.


Did you know judges aren’t given a copy of the program that everyone else in the audience receives? This means they don’t have access to a written description of the story each act is supposed to tell.

If I’m conscious of how much time has passed during a Sing act, it significantly impacts my thoughts on the act. A winning Sing act has a distinguishable and original plot that moves the act along, just like “A Day at the Derby” performed by Alpha Tau Omega and Chi Omega. Song choice, choreography and facials all play a part in advancing the plot, so these choices must be made with precision.

Backdrop and Props

It’s safe to say that no one wins Sing solely by having a stunning backdrop or innovative props. But these two elements can either add another level of “wow” to an act or make it look completely average. You could have the best choreography and vocals in the world, but if your backdrop is bland, it will take away from the overarching picture of the act. Delta Delta Delta’s backdrop from the “We Got the Reef” act of 2022 immersed audience members in their underwater world. As I’ve mentioned before, a Sing act needs to be visually appealing to judge, not just musically.

Group Sing

Every group has vocalists, some of whom will absolutely blow the audience’s mind with the power and intensity with which they sing. As important as these vocalists are, there is an element called “group sing” that is just as important. Every group that enters Sing is required to have at least one minute and 15 seconds of group sing. However, if groups cannot be heard over the band or don’t reach the total, points will be deducted from their score.

Musical quality and choreography each contribute to 20% of the scoresheet, so stellar choreography can’t make up for the lack of group sing. This aspect can make or break an act in the way it’s delivered, how loud it is, which lyrics are emphasized and if you can understand what the performers are saying in the first place. Pi Beta Phi’s “Be My Girl” of 2023 demonstrates what powerful group sing sounds like.


To someone who hasn’t seen or been a part of Sing before, the term “sharpness” might not make sense. Sharpness is when choreography is performed in a clean and precise way, meaning each movement is done exactly in sync with everyone else on stage.

Every group has choreography. In fact, many acts will probably share some of the same moves. The distinction between placing and not making it to Pigskin at all comes from how sharp an act is. Look up old Sing acts and watch people’s arms, legs, shoes and even heads. For an act to win, it takes hitting each movement with exact precision, making it look visually appealing for all seven minutes.


To me, this is the most important one. With “entertainment value” making up 30% of the score, the energy of a group can make or break an entire act. If you can tell the performers don’t care about the act or aren’t proud of it, the audience and judges will reciprocate the same energy.

Audience engagement factors into the judge’s scoresheet. If people are cheering — or there is a lack thereof — it will positively or negatively impact a score. No one cheers for performers who look like they are forced to be there.

Winning acts are full of people who are working together and having fun in the process. Sigma Chi’s “Basement Full of Blues,” which can be viewed on YouTube, had electric energy back in 1984 that groups should still strive for today. No one wants to see how concentrated someone is on their choreography. There is a clear distinction between groups who are having the time of their lives onstage and those who forget to slap a smile on their faces. With only seven minutes to shine, the energy of any group will contribute to their victory or to their downfall.