A message from a Sing chair: Be proud, be satisfied

By George Schroeder | LTVN Executive Producer

As they announced the last group headed to Pigskin Revue, I stood in silence behind the curtain, holding hands with my fellow chairs and with all the other groups who were not selected. That was the official end of my All-University Sing journey.

This was not just my first time as a Sing chair, but my first time in Sing at all.

As I was leaving the stage, one group was in tears. They weren’t drawing attention to themselves. They weren’t crying out of anger or some kind of perceived injustice. After months and months of hard work, they were simply disappointed.

I went up to them and complimented their act. I had talked about it with them the weekend prior. One of them reached out and hugged me while I talked. I saw every act in Sing this year. They had a killer performance, and in my book, they would have been a marquee performance in the fall.

Before I go any further, if you’re reading this and are happy some sorority girls were privately crying backstage, expressing perfectly reasonable feelings after not “winning,” then may I suggest you are at least a little toxic. Get a life.

We can debate all day long about who should be in Pigskin and who shouldn’t, but at the end of it all, the cards were dealt. Those arguments are fruitless. Now, it is time to be so proud of your work (you deserve it, I promise) and move on to whatever is next for you.

To those of you who made Pigskin, congratulations! Validation feels so good. You earned it — and that does not necessarily mean that other groups didn’t deserve it as well; they just got edged out on paper. Seriously though, some killer acts are going to Pigskin. I’m looking at you, Chi Omega (I mean, WOW). And KOT, you guys rock (they hyped us up before we went on stage every night; it, like their act, was awesome).

To those of you reading who will not be performing this fall, hold your head up. You’re in great company. You went out and accomplished something phenomenal, something you will likely never have another opportunity to do again outside of Baylor. Embrace the journey and the memories, not the “result.”

So what? Why am I writing all this?

We do not have many opportunities in college to work for essentially a full year on a project involving hundreds of friends and peers, on a stage surrounded by thousands more of our peers, that is performed in front of almost 15,000 people over six nights.

Moreover, no school does “Sing” like Baylor. Other schools have a version of All-University Sing, but if I am honest with you, it’s insulting to put them in the same ballpark. Don’t believe me? Just go look at some of them online. Sure, it’s fun stuff, but nothing — and I mean nothing — like Baylor.

Sing chairs are responsible for building entire performances from scratch every year. We pick the music; create, teach and execute the choreography (or pay for it to be done … I’m not a fan of this being allowed); paint our backdrops (or pay for them); audition our people; manage said people; and meet deadline after deadline. And we do it all for free.

Imagine turning in your absolute best work and not being picked for the sports team because it can only take so many. That feeling sucks; there is no way around it. No, I’m not complaining that my group didn’t make Pigskin. That’s just how it can feel. That’s how it felt backstage.

I don’t say that to brag or to score pity points. Plenty of students work very hard at various things all over campus. I am simply making the connection that pouring in hard work and not being called to Pigskin, just like anything else in life, is understandably tough.

I have never had more fun as a member of BYX, Brothers Under Christ, than I have over the last few months dedicating my time and energy to Sing. We were paired with Kappa Chi Alpha, and we all had a blast. Not to get sappy, but in the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?

From the very beginning, knowing the quality of the acts that hit the stage of Waco Hall, I knew Pigskin would be a tall order for us. We simply do not have the numbers that other organizations do. That being said, I could not be more proud of what we accomplished in the end.

No one can tell me we were not a Pigskin-capable and quality act. Nor could anyone tell me the same thing about many of the other acts that were not selected.

As an organization, BYX grew much closer. Naturally, pairing brought the entire chapter closer to an entire sorority, and it wasn’t just a partnership by the end. It was a bunch of friendships. That made the whole process worth it.

We also came out and put on a show that was just as good as anyone else’s. Both organizations looked great — both literally in the performance and also as representations of what you can expect from membership. Sing allowed us to have that opportunity.

As an individual, I got to lead. I got to watch firsthand the creation of an act that grew from nothing to a colorful, energetic and engaging performance. I love that we got to show it off to Baylor.

It was not easy. Did you know Sing planning starts in May of the year before? I didn’t.

There were a lot of long days and nights. It was stressful. There were deadlines we barely met when things went wrong. Initially, we had to recreate our entire theme and act when our first option was blocked for “being too similar” to another.

We had to audition vocalists and tell people no. We had to juggle individual schedules and absences. We had to fine people. We had to make tough decisions. We had to have serious conversations with our group. It wasn’t always a dream come true.

But for all the bad, there was so much more good. I think that’s the point of Sing.

The show itself is only the tip of the iceberg. What it took to get to the top of that mountain is the real story — and the one that nobody sees. If you do it right, your soul is connected to your act in the end, and it should be. We should do all things to the best of our abilities in a God-honoring way.

So no, you won’t see my act hitting the stage this fall. You will find that I have a happy, healthy heart after contributing to and participating in one of Baylor’s greatest traditions. Congratulations to every act, chair and performer who made it to this point. You accomplished something absolutely incredible. You should be so, so proud.

George Schroeder is a senior at Baylor University majoring in journalism. Currently the only student on his 4th year with the Lariat, he is the executive producer for Lariat TV News, he has worked as the managing editor, a broadcast reporter and an anchor for the program. In 2022 he was named the Baylor Department of Student Media’s “Broadcaster of the Year” and the inaugural winner of the Rick Bradfield Award for Breaking News Coverage. During his time with the Lariat, he has served as a member of the Editorial Board, a sportswriter and an opinion writer. He is a contracted cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and will commission as an officer into the United States Air Force after graduation in 2024.