Sounds That Remind Us of Home

Like every college, my alma mater has traditions that bond the people who go there. 

Things that might seem silly to everyone else.

Sing Song is one of those events.

And we like to come back to it because it reminds us of where we’ve been.

It’s a vocal competition between the classes and clubs on campus, interspersed with musical numbers by four to six individuals who audition for the role of host and hostess. 

The groups competing choose a theme, write their own song – changing the lyrics of popular songs to fit the theme – then dress up in costumes and choreograph the whole thing to last no more than four minutes.

The first time I ever watched Sing Song was in February of 1979, right before my freshman year in college, and I was hooked. 

I knew when tryouts for my Freshman class were posted that I had to be a part of that group.

Only I knew I’d never get in as a soprano or alto.

So I tried out on tenor. 

And they took me. 

Turns out they were really short on tenors.

Here are a few of the 'brighter' bulbs from the Freshman Class...Sing Song 1980. From left, Jill Middleton, Ellen Fillmon, Kendall Wadill, me and Helen Teague.

We were light bulbs and Nelson Coates rigged up a costume that actually lit up when we flicked a switch in a battery pack that fit in the back of our black tights. 

Here I am in the full light bulb costume, with Janet Kellogg Ray who sang with the Kojies. They were Miss Piggies. I won't even comment. But I think they may have won the club division that year....

Yes, we looked ridiculous, but we sounded amazing and when that huge coliseum went black toward the end of our four minutes – and we all flicked the switch on our battery packs – 100 light bulbs lit up the stage. The crowd went wild as we swelled out, “Theeeeere’s a ‘base’ for us, a ‘lamp’ and ‘shade’ for us” from West Side Story

And, yes, thank you, we won the class division. 

Tomorrow night I’ll sit in the audience and watch new light bulbs perform. But at the end of the show, we’ll move across the aisles and link arms with the people on either side of us and sing “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.”  5,000 voices in four part harmony.  A cappella. 

There’s nothing quite like that sound.

We like to come back to it because it reminds us of home.



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Will Klostermann says:

    I love Sing Song as well. But one of my favorite memories is singing “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”! All of God’s children singing together! I miss you!

  2. edallred says:

    Love it. My class (’76) won all four years….I just sayin’. Also GSP/Kinsmen – first costume change (Feb.”75) – from frogs to Princes. Yes. Those were the days.

  3. Ill be there tomorrow night too! I’m judging vocals Sat nt. I love me some Sing Song! When I was a Freshman we were eyeballs and when we sang that old Chrystal Gail song, we changed out brown eyes to blue. 🙂 I loved being a host and singing to my dad my Junior year. Such special memories tied to Sing Song for me. Can’t wait!

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