Alumni return, reflect on Sing tradition

Members of the 1991 Pi Beta Phi Sing group pose together after performing their act, "Singing in the Rain." Lariat File Photo

Luke Lattanzi | Staff Writer

Every year, Baylor alumni who participated in All-University Sing during their time as students return to see the performances put on by their organizations. For many, coming back to campus as former Sing performers is about staying in touch with a community they valued as well as connecting with other alumni.

Pi Beta Phi alumna Dawn Watson, who graduated in 1991, said she participated in Sing her sophomore and junior years, first as a dancer, then as a singer. Even though she had no prior dance experience, Watson said Sing was a great way for her to make friends.

“Everybody [back then] could be in Sing if they wanted to,” Watson said. “You didn’t have to try out or anything like that. It was a great way to get to know them on a deeper level, like some that maybe you didn’t know as well that were in different pledge classes and things, and it was just fun.”

Since graduating in 1991 and moving to Colorado Springs, Colo., Watson said she initially didn’t come back to Baylor very often. However, after her son began attending Baylor and joined Alpha Tau Omega, returning for Sing became a family tradition.

“Once he was there, of course, we started coming back to visit him,” Watson said. “We came back for homecoming. … My mom is in Houston, and so all four years, minus the [COVID-19] year, … I would go to Houston and get my mom, and my mom and I would drive up and spend the weekend and go to Sing.”

Even though her son has since graduated and begun graduate school, Watson said it is still a family tradition for her and her mom to travel to Waco every year to see Sing acts. She said she has always run into other Sing alumni, as the community is continued by their children, who are now attending Baylor and participating in Sing themselves.

“It’s fun now because I run into people,” Watson said. “We were at Baylor together, and we have kids that are now there together. And they’re all in different groups, but we’re there in Waco Hall, and I’m cheering because their daughter’s up there performing with [Chi Omega] or with Pi Phi or different clubs.”

Sing Alliance alumna Kaitlyn Tremble, who graduated in 2023, got her start in the tradition her freshman year with Sing Alliance, a non-Greek organization that allows students who aren’t in a fraternity or sorority to participate in Sing.

“We’re pretty much the only consistent non-Greek organization that participates [and also a] consistently co-ed organization,” Tremble said.

Tremble said she originally found Sing Alliance at Late Night and became interested due to her background as a dancer.

In 2022, Tremble became costume chair and was in charge of designing costumes for the Sing production. Despite the numerous logistical challenges of being a Sing chair, Tremble said she kept doing it because it felt like her family — so much so that she is returning to the show this year.

“The reason I invested so much time and effort … is because Sing Alliance is a family to me, and it’s such a great group, and there’s just so many amazing people in it,” Tremble said. “I’m so excited to see where they’ve taken it this year.”

While Sing is stressful, Tremble said she encourages students to enjoy their experience, as time can fly when students find themselves swamped in rehearsals on top of their usual college obligations.

“Savor the time you have — and really, just don’t let it pass you by,” Tremble said. “I feel like in school, you’re always like, ‘Oh, I just need to get past this week,’ or, ‘I just need to get past this deadline.’ Especially for Sing performers, it’s always, ‘Once the season is over, I can relax.’ But don’t forget to enjoy the actual season while it lasts, because it always goes so fast”

Watson also said that despite the additional obligations of Sing, it was nevertheless worth the effort due to the relationships and bonds she made throughout her time at Baylor.

“I know it’s stressful because it is a lot of time, right?” Watson said. “It’s a lot of time on top of your classes and maybe internships or other things you have going on. But I would tell [students] it’s so worth the effort, because the memories you’ll have and the time you’ll have with the people in your group — you will cherish that for years after.”

Luke Lattanzi is a senior political science major with a minor in news-editorial originally from Monroe Township, New Jersey, now based in Houston. In his last semester at the Lariat, he is excited to learn more about what it takes to report for a daily news publication. Luke also serves as assistant editor for conservative digital magazine American Pigeon. He hopes to work for a publication as a reporter after graduation.