Singarama Turns 50
April 4-6, 2013 marked the 50th production of one of Lipscomb's most cherished traditions: Singarama!
This spring Lipscomb celebrated the 50th year of Singarama with the production of Timeless ... remembering Yesterday, (directed by Maggie Clements); celebrating Today, (directed by David Grayson); and anticipating Forever, (directed by Corley Major). Six talented hosts and hostesses, Kelsea Ballerina, Muriel Epling, Rainey Langford, Michael Oruma, Adam Sain, and McKenna Smith, performed during the historic show, while Autumn Harper, Kathryn McKinley, and and Erin Wood served as student coordinators, working with Sarah Keith Gamble, Singarama producer and director.
The Lipscomb University National Alumni Association partnered with Singarama to host a special reunion luncheon on April 6 before the matinee performance, and a dinner for Singarama directors was held at Longview mansion before the evening show. Singarama "legends" Coba Craig, Dennis Loyd, and Sarah Keith Gamble were honored during Saturday night's show. Craig and his wife (Janece Mobley) Craig last attended Singarama in 1988 when both of their children, Paul Craig and Rhonda Craig Taylor, were in the show. Craig founded Singarama when he was a junior and directed the first show, Club Chante' Singarama, which was held on February 3, 1964. Loyd, a beloved Singarama coordinator in the 1970's and 1980's, also served as chair of the university's English department and twice served as Dean of Students. He was accompanied by his wife, Shirley, who worked in the University Bookstore for a number of years. Gamble, longtime associate dean of campus life, assumed the Singarama coordinator role after Loyd and is an integral part of the university's student development staff.
Over the years more than 16,000 students have participated in Singarama. Armed only with their category the students in each group develop their story lines, write scripts, choose 8 songs and accompanying choreography, and design and create sets and costumes. The shows, evaluated over four performances by a panel of 18 judges, compete in three categories (theme, music, and staging) and in overall sweepstakes points. At the conclusion of Saturday night's performance, Today, directed by David Grayson, was announced as the winner of the coveted Sweepstakes Award after sweeping all three categories in a close competition.
Singarama has survived, Gamble thinks, because "Singarama is about building relationships and a sense of community. It's a great opportunity to meet new people and to engage with friends in the fun and creative process of building a 25 minute mini-musical from the ground up, culminating in the collective sense of accomplishment the students feel when they get to perform their show in front of the appreciative Singarama audiences. It is impossible to measure on an individual basis the sense of accomplishment, the fun, and the friendships that can be attributed to Singarama."
See Singarama pictures and history on the Lipscomb Singarama Facebook page (www.facebook.com/lipscombsingarama),
The dates for Singarama 2014 are April 3-5.