Samford University’s annual production of Step Sing fulfilled expectations of a great show, but some speculate that the show’s new scoring system will level the competitive playing field.
Since 1957, when Samford was known as Howard College, Step Sing has been a heartfelt tradition in the Homewood community. The song and dance competition involves both Greek and independent undergraduate students who compete and give the show’s profits to charity.
This year’s philanthropy was Magic City Woodworks and received over $13,000.00 thanks to Step Sing participants and the community.
In previous years, Step Sing has given out committee awards to spirited students as well as a sweepstakes winner. This year, however, there was a male group winner, a female group winner and a sweepstakes winner.
Although the shows become more competitive each year, some students have expressed how the new scoring system eliminates some competition by allowing more groups to place first in different categories. Coed groups, however, are only eligible to win the sweepstakes award.
On the contrary, others share the popular opinion that the new scoring system gives a fair chance for all groups to shine.
Samford alumnus Steve Cole, who performed in Step Sing himself said, “I enjoyed seeing how all categories gave recognition to the different groups.”
Indie Ladies’ Emily Spradling agrees.
“For the changes in scoring system, I don’t think it changed our prep for performing, but I do think it gave women’s groups more hope for being able to win something,” said Spradling.
Male groups have been notorious for a years-long winning streak. However, this year Alpha Delta Pi took home the Best Costumes Award and the Sweepstakes Award with their chicken-themed show-stopper. Chi Omega won Best Female Group.
“The new scoring system leveled the playing field. It allowed more groups the opportunity to win, but the overall quality of the show did not change. The students perform to have fun,” said Samford Spiritual Life Administrative Assistant Kath White.
Spectrum’s Emily Sandgren agreed that while all shows were impressive ,there were more shows of higher quality this year. Sandgren also said this year’s themes and presentations were better.
Instead of eliminating the competition, several participants said the competition actually increased because those categories narrowed down the number of groups performing in each.
“I think it actually made it more competitive for the girl groups amongst themselves,” said Sandgren.
She said she thought female groups’ knowing they had a definite chance to win something helped encourage their competitive nature.
Nevertheless, Step Sing remains a competitive, but fun, social gathering of students. Dudes a Plenty’s Nate Freeman said the group works hard on vocals, choreography, and formation. However, Freeman said they also emphasize having fun and entertaining the audience.
“Buying into your character sells the theme and makes the show more fun. If we do those things, we feel like we have done our job as a Step Sing group, regardless of the results,” Freeman said.
Anna Grace Moore, News Writer
[photo by Chase Cochran]