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Put class before Sing Song acts

By Mark Smith
Posted on February 21, 2013 | Columns,Opinion | Comments Off on Put class before Sing Song acts

Sing Song is fun. Always a friendly competition, students look forward to the event’s outcome because they know if they don’t win, some of their friends will, and then everyone is happy.

Ideally, that would be the case.

Instead, if you didn’t know Thomas Hobbes was talking about life, you’d think he was describing Sing Song as “nasty, brutish and short.”

Forty years ago, Optimist columnist John Williams wrote that, “Student rehearsals have reached the point where they interfere with other activities.”

Earlier this month, if your Sing Song practice schedule didn’t interfere with your entire life, you weren’t practicing enough.

Sub T-16’s act wasn’t just entertaining; it was needed. It’s good to see a club enjoy its time in the spotlight and make fun of itself (and ACU) at the same time. While the men of Sub T don’t care enough to seriously compete in the 57-year-old A Capella tradition, they are necessary. The show needs that counterbalance from the other clubs who care a little too much.

“Sing Song is also a competition, and that’s what makes it fun,” say the Sing Song co-chairs each year, and that’s true. But when the amount of time spent preparing for the three judged performances becomes overwhelming, it makes winning too important.

It makes some participants trash talk others and put them down, sometimes causing a division between friends and classmates. It makes some people care more about winning, in an event that means absolutely nothing to anyone outside the ACU community, than everything else, including school. It makes club members complain that their club wasn’t in one edition of the Optimist as much as another one, which was “hurtful” to many other members.

The grad class had it right. The smallest group in the mixed category, these guys are busier than you (freshmen, if you think you’re busy now, just wait. It gets worse) and they still put in lots of hours to perfect their performance. Not for the trophy, but for the love of Sing Song. They made art funny and entertaining, which isn’t easy to do. If they had had a bigger group, the Optimist’s Hal Hoots probably would’ve predicted them to finish in the top 3 of mixed voices.

Speaking of which, if the Optimist predicts your act to win, prove it right. If it predicts you to not finish first, prove it wrong. Complaining does nothing.

Sing Song shouldn’t be about beating rivals. It shouldn’t include neglecting schoolwork. It definitely shouldn’t make life more stressful. It should be about having fun with your friends, creating enjoyable performances and memories. Rivalries will continue and some groups will win and many will lose each year. My hope is that the losers and winners both realize Sing Song is not more important than grades.

avatar Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 21st, 2013 and filed under Columns, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.  - This post has been viewed 20038 times.

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