The new year brings about many things: resolutions, hope, and for Samford students, another season of singing, dancing, and leaving it all on the grid. A tradition that has been around since before Howard College became Samford University, Step Sing may not be unique in its idea, but it is unmatched in its execution.
Step Sing is an annual competition that takes place in the month of January and consists of themes, costumes, and victory-driven students competing for the coveted trophy – and ultimate bragging rights. Led by two to three directors, each Step Sing group is comprised of anywhere from 50 to 75 members and works all month to execute a theme for their show. The group directors pick a collection of songs to help tell a story with their theme and create choreography to go along with the plot, as well as design props and costumes to fit that theme.
Step Sing began as a sing-along at Howard College in 1951. After Howard College moved to its current location in 1957, the tradition was continued with ever-growing enthusiasm. Over the years, it slowly transformed from a simple sing-along into what it is today: an annual competition consisting of themes, costumes, props, and much more.
Step Sing is run by the students, from both the logistical production and creative performance aspects of the competition. Each year, there is a committee that organizes the various departments that run step sing, including broadcasting, auditorium management, tech, and more, all working together to produce the best possible show.
This year, there are 17 different campus groups and organizations that participate in and execute shows. Many of the groups are Greek life organizations, but there are numerous independent Step Sing groups, one of which is coed.
There are four official performances over Step Sing weekend. Judges attend on the Friday night and Saturday night shows, then make their decisions and hand out trophies after the final performance.
University President Beck Taylor shared his opinion on this time-old tradition.
“Step Sing is perhaps Samford’s most beloved tradition. Few events on campus bring the entire community together like Step Sing, and our alumni and parents participate around the world through the live stream.” Taylor said. “I’m impressed with the dedication, creativity, and talent of our students, and like so many, I look forward to watching the performances each year.”