For the 55th year, one of Murray State’s most cherished traditions, All Campus Sing, returns to the historic steps of Lovett Auditorium Wednesday, April 17. All Campus Sing begins with a pre-show at 3 p.m., and the competition at 3:30 p.m.
Since the tradition began in 1958, Sigma Alpha Iota has hosted All Campus Sing with help from the Murray State Alumni Association and the Office of Student Affairs.
According to Amanda Benson, chair of All Campus Sing, there are many people who aid SAI in organizing the event each year.
“I get help from some people at Lovett Auditorium who help with the sound,” she said. “I also have my assistant, who will be taking over next year, and a committee within SAI that helps organize the event as well.”
Even though there are many people who help All Campus Sing run smoothly, there are difficulties in preparing for the event.
“I think getting people involved and excited about the event can be the easiest part,” said Anne Pritchett, assistant chair of All Campus Sing. “But it’s difficult to organize the competing groups. A lot of time goes into getting their information and making sure the groups don’t have the same songs picked.”
All Campus Sing unites students from different groups for a friendly singing and dancing competition. It allows students to be social and get to know the different groups at Murray State.
The entire event provides the students with a different kind of opportunity, she said.
“I think it is a good way for people to get out of their comfort zones,” she said. “You see a lot of people say ‘I can’t sing’ or ‘I can’t dance’, but it gives them the opportunity to put themselves out there anyway.”
This year, 26 groups will be competing in the event, which is about the same number as last year, Benson said.
The groups are separated into four divisions: residential colleges, sororities, fraternities and independent.
The number of members competing in each group can range from six to 70 people. The smallest group competing is about four or five people, she said.
This year All Campus Sing does not have an overall theme. Instead, each group picks their own theme and chooses songs based on its personal theme. These themes can also help determine the creativity and musicality of the group’s performance.
“In the past, All Campus Sing has had an overall theme,” Benson said. “But it was hard for so many groups to find different songs about one individual thing, so we left it open this year, and we probably will leave it open to individual themes for many years to come.”
The groups will be scored on four aspects of their show: performance, crowd likability, musicality and creativeness.
Each division will have a first through fourth-place title. Best costumes, best choreography, best solo and director’s choice are all separate awards, which will also be given.
This year, however, new awards are being incorporated into All Campus Sing.
“We always have first through fourth place in every division,” Benson said. “We have something that is new this year, the championship trophy. We will give that to the group who did the best out of the first prizes of the four divisions. We also added a spectator’s choice award, and the audience will determine the winner.”
These prizes and the championship trophy are all courtesy of the Alumni Association, however SAI raises money through All Campus Sing as well. Each group pays $50 to enroll in the competition.
In addition to the entry fee, change wars are held, concessions are set up and T-shirts are sold in order to raise money for the philanthropy.
The money raised is donated to the People to People foundation. It is used to buy musical instruments, sheet music and other supplies needed for schools.
In addition, a musical instrument drive is held at All Campus Sing. Donated instruments are given to the schools that do not have the funding for new instruments.
The teams that donate instruments receive added points to their scores.
“The neat thing about All Campus Sing is at our national convention for SAI the event gets a lot of recognition because it involves the music, the community and pushes campus involvement,” Benson said. “It also is very profitable.”
This year Benson said she has high hopes for the amount of money raised because it is the largest fundraiser.
Last year, All Campus Sing raised more than $2,000 and she hopes to raise just as much this year to benefit their philanthropy.
Story by Hunter Harrell, Staff writer.