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Behind The Scenes Of Sing 2010

June 16, 2010

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In February, 18 groups of Baylor students took the Waco Hall stage to showcase their musical talents and dancing skills before thousands of classmates, parents, Baylor alumni and area residents as part of All University Sing. Their performances have been well-documented, with the best of these slated for repeat performances at Pigskin Revue this fall.

Baylor Magazine, however, wanted more information. We wondered just what the process was like, as the shows progressed from awkward first practices to flawless final products, and how students balanced the demands of Sing with classes, jobs and other activities. We asked for volunteers to journal the process, and five students stepped forward:

  • AJ Buchanan, junior, Waco Hall Stage Crew member;
  • Beth Roller, junior, Chi Omega participant and Student Productions Steering Committee member;
  • Alexis Tadda, senior, Sing Alliance participant and Student Productions Steering Committee member;
  • Christopher Thompson, freshman, Sing Alliance participant
  • KT Ward, sophomore, Kappa Sigma participant

Below you'll find their reactions, worries, hopes and thoughts, reflecting what it's like behind the scenes of Sing.


Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010

I really can't believe that tonight will be my last first Sing practice with Sing Alliance... I'm sad, but this year is going to be incredible, I can just feel it! We haven't learned dances or received costumes or even painted the backdrop, but I just know our theme is awesome and it's going to get there and I can't wait to see this act transform into greatness!! ☺ Well, here's to two three-hour Sing practices every night!

Alexis Tadda


Monday, Jan. 11, 2010

I don't think my lower back has ever been so sore... The second rehearsal began with a review of the choreography for the finale and learning almost all of the rest of it. After an hour, the finale members left, and the rest of us, full-time, began working on "No Bad News," the song before the finale. We were informed that in terms of dancing, this would be the finale before the finale. It didn't take long for me to understand why it was called the finale before the finale, because I could do about zero of the choreography after an hour of practicing (as if the finale weren't hard enough). I left thinking I would need some serious practice time by myself...and tomorrow I won't be able to walk.

Christopher Thompson


Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010

We began learning dances tonight, and it is so much easier than the past years. Every year in Sing is a little easier just because, for me having no dance experience I've learned how to learn how to dance. If that makes any sense at all...

Beth Roller


Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010

After three rehearsals and a day off, I was starting to get used to the schedule and time commitment of practice. Today, Thursday, was a three-hour rehearsal, though, instead of two. I knew Thursdays would be rough time-wise going to class/work from 9:30-3:15 straight, BRH rehearsal from 5-7, and FCC from 7 until Sing practice at 8:30, which ended at 11:30. Adding an extra hour really did make a difference in the intensity of the practice, but at least I was starting to improve on the choreography.

Christopher Thompson


Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010

I am a little stressed because I just got all my dates together. My classes directly interfere with Open stage and tech times. School is more important but I also made a commitment to this. So I am going to have to balance that. I talked to my Sing chairs and they were very helpful so I know it will all work out.

Beth Roller


Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010

Well, the first week of Sing practice is finally over. I have learned a couple of things over these last few days. First, a lot of choreographed dance. More importantly, I learned that I am not a dancer. It has been a blast, though, hanging out with all my best friends for a couple of hours every day. I love our act this year, and I feel like we have a great shot at making at least Pigskin. The most incredible thing I've noticed so far is the patience of the Sing chairs. It really is unbelievable how much they can put up with from such a large group of guys. We have fun, though, that's for sure.

KT Ward


Monday, Jan. 18, 2010 (Martin Luther King Day)

Yesterday, I helped draw on the backdrop from 2:30-5, and today I drew and painted from 10-5:30. Having two backdrops requires a great amount of time, but after working on them this weekend and today, I think we have made great progress. In addition to working on the backdrop for seven and a half hours, we had practice from 7-9. The practice was mainly a review of the finale and "No Bad News," but we also had two Sing Alliance alumni speak to the group about its huge impact on their lives, even after graduating.

Christopher Thompson


Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010

From the Stu Pro Co side of things the work is beginning. ☺ Tickets go on sale on Thursday, so we chalked today. We've been working on the proof for the Sing poster, theme and program and I'm so excited to see it all around campus. Finalizing details and getting everything organized. It's amazing that it all happens so quickly.

Beth Roller


Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010

Sing Alliance first open stage! We've got two full weeks under our belts, but we still have a long way to go! The first open stage is always funny to me because everything is still chaotic, but you really have to utilize your time since you don't get too many on-stage opportunities. Every minute counts!

Alexis Tadda


Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010

Ok, week two over. This stuff is intense. I had no idea how much work went into these performances! So many hours of practice, song selection, prop building, costumes, not to mention the choreography itself. I have a whole new level of respect for our Sing chairs now. I thought they were just normal people like me, but they're definitely more than normal if they're able to pull off a production like this. Good news is I'm getting better at all the dancing. I won't be getting anywhere near the front row anytime soon, but at least I won't look like I don't belong on the stage! They say four more weeks 'til performance time. This is going to be a long four weeks.

KT Ward


Monday, Jan. 25, 2010

As far as Student Production Committee goes we have finalized the posters and Macy did an awesome job. We had our preliminary program meeting last Friday, and I'm working on Sing Banners with Chamber right now. My parents are coming in for the second weekend so I am excited that their flights are finally booked. It's going to be a great year of Sing!

Beth Roller


Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010

In preparation for Sing today at Waco Hall we had the pleasure of painting the stage, its not done yet... 1st coat is on and drying but at least 2 more coats will have to go on, but hey, anytime I get an excuse to "accidently spill paint on a friend" for a good cause like Sing it's a good day!

AJ Buchanan


Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010

Last night we didn't have practice, so it was nice to have a night off. Tonight I had a rehearsal for soloists, and we worked on staging and voice parts for each song... Everyone else worked on their specific character dance.

Christopher Thompson


Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010

The posters are up and Macy did such a good job! I love them and am so thankful for all of her hard work! Overall things are going well, we have our last open stage on Saturday, and then we start tech rehearsals on Monday. That is when the Student Production Committee will start attending everyone's tech rehearsals to help with everything so I am really excited to see all of these awesome acts I've been hearing about!

Beth Roller


Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010

Tonight we had our second open stage (it was my first, though, because I had a BRH concert during the first one). We pretty much had a normal practice of working on different parts of different dances, but it was nice to practice on the real stage and learn how little space we actually would have. Fitting 170 people on one stage isn't the easiest thing to do.

Christopher Thompson


Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010

Today was completely devoted to Sing Alliance. I woke up early and went to help draw/paint the backdrop from 9 to 12, going straight to the partner specialty dance and the boys' specialty dance rehearsals from 12-2. The partner specialty wasn't too hard, except learning how the flip the girl at the end of the dance. The boys' specialty, on the other hand, was probably the hardest thing I have ever attempted in my life. I don't even know how to explain the dance besides starting off on the ground, getting up in a millisecond to go straight into a toe touch, then landing to turn around and do a hitch kick. After the practices, I then went back to help with the backdrop from 2-8:30, came back to my dorm to change, then walked straight to Waco Hall for our third open stage. The open stage was pretty much the same as the second, but at the end, we completely ran through the act for the first time!

Christopher Thompson


Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010

It's the end of the third week, and we started singing! Dancing may not come to me as quickly as I would like, but I love singing. Our Sing chairs have picked some awesome songs with some great harmony parts. It's gonna sound great on stage. As the weeks roll by, I'm getting more excited and more nervous. We've got most of the act down, and it looks good. We do, however, have a little to learn and a whole lot to clean. Not a whole lot to say this week. I'm still enjoying my time with my friends, but I've done more dancing in the past three weeks than I thought I would ever do in my entire life.

KT Ward


Monday, Feb. 1, 2010

Instead of going to practice tonight, I helped Lisa finish the backdrop, since it was due the next day for Light Tech. I started painting at 6pm, and we finally finished at 2am, which Lisa later informed us was the second hour of the second day of the second month and was our second backdrop.

Christopher Thompson


Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010

It is officially Sing season meaning lots of coffee, long hours at work, and little sleep. I can say that now after having the first night of a week filled with light techs in which each group performs 5 times in a row. What would college be if I wasn't stressed out and super busy! Today is going to be a long day, starting off early with my 8 a.m. speech class, then a calculus test (I wish I felt more prepared but some things just get placed on the backburner) then racing off to finish my MIS project before the 11 a.m. If I'm lucky there time for a power nap in the SUB. Then off to my last class of the day at 12:20, at this point I don't have time to eat. Again a common theme in my life around Sing, is priorities and time management. Like would I rather sleep for 35 minutes in the SUB or grab Chick-fil-A? Do I spend my 2 hours studying for one class and get an A on the exam or split that for three classes and do alright on a few quizzes and bomb a test... at this point I still think about test recovering later. Today I will be working from 2 p.m. to around 11 p.m.

AJ Buchanan


Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010

Tonight was our first practice with full costumes and makeup. Oh, and TWO backdrops! Having the backdrops hanging on stage was one of the most incredible things I have seen, especially since I understood how much work was put into them. Because the rehearsal was specifically for lighting, we didn't do much dancing, but went from one formation to the next while they figured out the lighting.

Christopher Thompson


Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010

As I woke up this morning from a few hours of well earned rest the song from Sing Alliance performance comes to mind "every day I wake up and pour myself a cup..." I almost decided not to get coffee this morning to avoid the constant juke box that becomes my mind. That is a perfect example of what Sing does to music, if a song from a previous of current act comes on BAM! Its flashback to the group who used it! Bird land from Kappa, Michael Jackson from Tri Delt, or Journey from this year with ATO! I hear these songs so often from Sing practice whether its open stages or light and audio techs to the two weeks of performance that songs become synonymous with any group!

AJ Buchanan


Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010

Having run through the act multiple times, the dance that obviously needed the most work was "No Bad News." So, tonight we cleaned up "No Bad News" for a while, and then when we were about to die, Martha decided we would play a game. We were going to run through the act four more times, but we split into four groups based on our birthdays, so really each person only had to run through it one more time, performing the act with his/her birthday group for the rest of Sing Alliance. After the game, we watched the video taken at Light Tech and tried to take in how overwhelming our act was.

Christopher Thompson


Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010

These have been the busiest four weeks of my life. Trying to balance Sing practice, intramurals, school work, and all the other little responsibilities I seem to have picked up has proven to be quite difficult. It's starting to feel like this is never going to end. I can only imagine the kind of free time I'm going to have after these next few weeks. Oh! I got moved to the third row from the back on the first two songs! I never thought I'd see the day, but it turns out I'm not so bad with a little practice. I found out I'm gonna be in a four-part harmony at the front of the stage as well. I'm nervous about it because I have never sung in front of more than a hundred people before. This should be interesting.

KT Ward


Monday, Feb. 8, 2010

Tonight we ran through the act 200 times and passed out.

Christopher Thompson


Friday, Feb. 12, 2010

I've been watching the acts for two weeks now, with light and audio techs. Its so interesting to see how differently the groups treat the time. Some seem bored and complacent. Others practice like winners and take it very seriously. You can quickly see how winning reputations are created. Several groups started out so strong and have died down, remaining the same, almost stagnant. Others are changing and evolving more than I could have imagined. Every time we see it there is a new excitement, energy, and motions. Its wonderful. This is why this is one of my favorite times of the year!

Beth Roller


Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010

I haven't written in a while because my life has been taken over by Sing! Every day I know where I'll be from 5-12, watching everyone's acts, which by the way, I am really impressed. I love being able to watch the acts and make changes for the better. It's crazy how the smallest change in a song or dance can completely change the act. Oh and Student Productions is wonderful, we have so much fun in Waco Hall, I'm pretty sure we are all delirious now starting at 5:00 and it just continues through the night.. I've been in charge of getting volunteers for the performances and I need a lot more than what I have now. Something else we have decided to do this year is have Kathryn Krueger, a professional photographer in Waco, come take pictures of the groups before they perform. I'm really excited about that!

Alexis Tadda


Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010

Since we could do the specialty dances pretty well, the specialty practices were much shorter than normal. After the boys' specialty, Martha sat me down to talk about being the props/backdrop chair for next year, since Lisa was graduating. I had been thinking a little bit about doing it, but after Martha talked to me for a while, I started to really think it was a possibility.

Christopher Thompson


Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010

We've been at it for five weeks now, and this thing is really coming together. We look great, sound great and move great. We've practiced on stage, in four different rooms, and everywhere we can. It really is getting exciting that next week around this time we'll be in front of a full audience. Sing, I've found, is so much more than a performance. I have gotten so much closer to a lot of the guys in my fraternity and I am grateful for that. I know it's about having fun and putting on a good show, but I can tell you the men of Kappa Sigma are out to win it. I can't wait for next week!

KT Ward


Monday, Feb. 15, 2010

Tonight we had the Full Tech rehearsal, where we ran the act for the first time how it would actually be for the performance--full costume/makeup, backdrops, props, lighting, audio, and the live band. Performing with the band made a huge difference in energy and just sounded better overall. Thanks Jason!

Christopher Thompson


Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010

Tonight is Dress Rehearsal, which is so exciting for Sing Alliance and Student Productions... it gets crazy doing both things, but I love it!!!!

Alexis Tadda


Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010

With our first real performance tomorrow, tonight we had a dress rehearsal... I wouldn't say it was our best run through, but that's what dress rehearsals are for... One cool thing about tonight was when a former Sing Alliance member that teaches elementary school in Waco brought her students to watch us perform. They were definitely our biggest fans, and it was a cool experience to realize that even though we were just having fun, we were those students' heroes.

Christopher Thompson


Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010

Sing has gotten crazy and so the journal has been on the back burner, just like I stated earlier there are priorities. But my favorite part of Sing is watching my friends have fun on stage, from Katie Crumley popping out of a cake for Pi Phi, or Alexandra Morgan singing for Chi-O or my roommate Matt Armstrong in a specialty dance for K-Sig. its fun to see how much energy each group has and the sense of pride they get from performing something that is a huge commitment! I have a deeper respect for each group involved after seeing the hours of blood, sweat and tears that go into making a great show! After my third sing, two of which working backstage, I think I get the best view of the show. I see the passion and zeal of the groups up close, I see the transformation from the 1st open stage to opening night, I see the highs and the lows, the audience doesn't see that. They see the surface level of sing and walk away with, "wow that was cool" but I get to be involved much more and there are not enough words to describe Baylor All-University Sing. Even if you watch from a seat in Waco Hall that's not the complete picture of it, if you want to see that, go to the Pi Phi room at 11 p.m. on a Tuesday night during sing season!

AJ Buchanan


Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010

After messing up a couple of times during dress rehearsal, I was getting pretty nervous about the actual performance tonight. I had a lot to think about during the act--singing backup, two specialty dances, splitting front and center for "No Bad News," a costume change, then splitting front and center again for the finale. We met in the Business School parking garage to get ready and practice a couple of times before the show, then walked to Roxy Grove to wait to go on stage. In Roxy Grove, we watched ADPi run through their act, and then we ran through ours as TriDelt watched and cheered us on. We then lined up backstage, waiting for our turn to set up and perform our act. When the time came, I hurried to get my headset mic set up, walked to my spot, and waited for the curtain to open. The curtain rose, and the rest is a blur. I can remember insane amounts of energy and adrenaline taking over my body, which continued as we filed off stage and met outside Waco Hall. Everyone was pumped about how we had just performed, and exploded into excitement as Keith Frazee personally came outside and told us to do it like that every time. Now I understood why we worked so hard for one seven minute little act. It was definitely worth it.

Christopher Thompson


Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010

FIRST WEEKEND OF SING!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!! It was a great weekend! Everyone stepped it up, but I think next weekend is going to be out of this world... everyone always changes things in their acts, so I can't wait to see what happens! Running the show is one of the greatest things I've done at Baylor, I love being back stage and making sure everything goes smoothly and having to be on my toes when problems occur... It's been a lot of fun!

Alexis Tadda


Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010

Well, we're done with six weeks of practice and one weekend of performances. I honestly can't describe the feeling that I got between the nervousness while the curtain was down and then the excitement and energy as soon as we started singing. It was pretty incredible. In fact, I was so enthusiastic that before I got up to sing my song I barely had the breath to do it! It seems like we just started practicing a couple of weeks ago now. Strange that I thought it was going by so slowly only a few weeks ago. I don't really even know what to write now that we've got a week behind us. I have noticed, though, that all my nerves are gone and I am only excited now for next week and our last three performances.

KT Ward


Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010

I can't believe this week has flown by SO fast! We are already at the last performance... it's my last performance in Sing at Baylor for the rest of my life... Wow! Sing is one of the main reasons I chose Baylor, I really don't know how I'm going to feel once I hit the final pose in the aisles, or when the curtain closes for the last time, or when we announce the awards (which by the way I get to announce 3 groups of Sing chairs! Awesome!), or when Waco Hall is empty and everyone has gone home and our non- Sing lives have been handed back to us... wow, this is sounding depressing.. I am so pumped for this last night of Sing and I'm going to cherish every moment, from setting up Waco Hall, putting on my costume, being in Roxy, performing and all the way till the end! Let's go Sing Alliance! And Sing and everyone else! Tonight is going to be a great night!!

Alexis Tadda


Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010

It's almost unbelievable, but it's all over. I thought I would be much more excited to write this final entry, but we didn't make Pigskin and I'm still not quite over that disappointment. I loved our act, and I know how hard I worked on it so it was really hard news to take. I can only imagine how our Sing chairs feel after the countless hours of thought, stress and work that they put into it. I'm so proud of the show we put on, though. I heard great things from people in the audience, and as long as we were entertaining, I'm satisfied. I have been so stretched by this whole process. Song and dance had never been a part of my comfort zone before these past seven weeks. This is truly one of Baylor's best traditions and I am and will continue to be so proud to be a part of it.

KT Ward


Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010

It's done. WOW! Sing Alliance got 3rd place! I am so proud of us and what we have accomplished! I am proud of all the groups, everyone did such an amazing job and it was a great show! Sing 2010 will always hold such a special place in my heart, this year was the best one!!

Alexis Tadda

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