Herd Media
Arts and Entertainment,  Campus Life,  News

Themes of The Eras: Singarama showcases Lipscomb history through performance and storytelling

Willard Collins Auditorium was the place for song, dance, performance and storytelling on Saturday afternoon, as the third showing of the 61st annual Singarama event took place on Lipscomb University’s campus.

Judging for the matinee show was focused on the Best Theme category, as the three acts each look to earn points for the overall sweepstakes.

The matinee show was won by the 70s era’s performance, “Delta NaNaNa“, which was directed by Catherine Marshall & Lincoln Brown and was preformed by the Phi Sigma, Gamma Lambda and Sigma Iota Delta social clubs, as well as friends.

The winner of the overall sweepstakes will be decided and announced at the end of the final show on Saturday night.

The theme for this year’s Singarama is “The Lipscomb Eras”. Each of the three acts represent a different decade and were challenged to come up with a unique story and performance that is fully centered around the decade that they were assigned.

Additionally, each act’s story had to correlate with Lipscomb’s history and culture during the time of their assigned decade; giving the audience a unique glimpse of the Lipscomb experience through the lens of these different eras.

1970s: Delta NaNaNa

The four "Delta Nu" students in the 70s era "Delta NaNaNa" performance on Saturday afternoon. Photo taken by Mary English
The 70s era “Delta NaNaNa” performance on Saturday afternoon. Photo taken by Mary English.

Directors: Catherine Marshall & Lincoln Brown

Presented by: Phi Sigma, Gamma Lambda, Sigma Iota Delta and friends

In the classic struggle between tradition and progression, Delta NaNaNa tell the story about group of friends from the Delta Nu social club that created their very own rock band. The group hopes to bring rock to the David Lipscomb College campus at the “Bison Day” competition, but are met with instant pushback from members of administration.

The show noted multiple references of Lipscomb culture during that time. Such as school president Stephen Pullias, who served in the role from 1946-1977, the school only allowing for acapella performances on campus and Delta Nu, which was a real social club on campus during this time.

Different aspects of the music scene during this time were also rederenced, including 70s musicians and groups such as Pat Boone and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Songs of the time that were featured in the show included classics such as “Best of My Love” by The Emotionals and “Rock And Roll All Nite” by KISS.

1980s: The Championship Era

Saturday's matinee performance of the 80s era's show "The Championship Era". Photo taken by Mary English.
Saturday’s matinee performance of the 80s era’s show “The Championship Era”. Photo taken by Mary English.

Directors: Miles Nixon & Audra Hochgesang

Presented by: Delta Omega, Alpha Delta, Sigma Alpha, Tau Phi, and friends

Inspired by the real events of David Lipscomb’s NAIA National Championship in men’s basketball and the theft of the Bisons mascot during the 1980s, “The Championship Era” combines these two classic Lipscomb stories into one, showing the behind the scenes story of four students, who despite their differences, work together to try to find the mascot before the big championship game.

Lipscomb references included historic McQuiddy Gymnasium, the fire at High Rise, the classic “Donut Den” shop that is near campus.

The performance saw multiple pop culture references from the 1980s, such as hit TV shows “Matlock” and “Terms of Endearment, the “Jazzercise” workout craze that swept the nation during that time. And classic 1980s hits that were performed included songs such as “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley and “Beat It” by Michael Jackson.

The most notable reference from the performance was of the 1985 movie “Back to the Future”, which saw the appearance of “pencil-skirted president of the future” [depicting current present Lipscomb president “Dr. Candice McQueen]. The Dr. McQueen character traveled back in time from the 21st century to help the group in their quest to find the mascot. And yes, she came in a DeLorean.

1990s: The Era of Inspiration

A scene from "The Era Inspiration Era" performance by the 90s era. Photo taken by Isaiah Davis.
A scene from “The Era Inspiration Era” performance by the 90s era. Photo taken by Isaiah Davis.

Directors: Sean Worth & Emmie Huffines

Presented by: Theta Psi, Phi Nu, Pi Delta, and friends

This show is based on true events, highlighting the story of “Healing Hands International”, which was a charity that was began as a business class project by three Lipscomb students. In this story, the students throw a gala in oder to raise money for the idea, but see multiple different challenges, including a breakup and interference from their competition.

The 90s team also had a special member in the audience that had an especially deep connection to their story. For Lipscomb Assistant Dean of Student Engagement Landon Parrish, this was a particularly special moment in a show that was filled with many of them.

“The most special part of the night for me is Dr. Randy Steger, who was in the 1990s, who started Healing Hands International,” said Parrish. “For him to be here and see us honor the work that he did here at Lipscomb, its an honor.”

Dr. Randy Steger (pictured middle), takes a group photo with members from “The Era of Inspiration” performance. Photo taken by Isaiah Davis

Lipscomb references of the time included David Lipscomb’s student paper “The Babbler”, the student activities center first being referred to as “the SAC”, and former school president Steve Flatt, who served in the role from 1997-2005.

Culture references of the time included things such classic move “Space Jam”, the “Game Boy” video game console, ribbon dancing and VHS tapes.

1990s hits that were preformed in the show include “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” by The Backstreet Boys and “(You Drive Me) Crazy” by Brittney Spears.

Reactions and moments from the show

Parrish spoke highly of how the students that participated in the show were able to truly encapsulate the time and culture of their respective eras.

“There were people from the 70’s, 80’s and the 90’s in the crowd tonight. You can see their interactions, you know, the pockets of the different eras,” Parrish said. “And for eras that these students didn’t live in, they did an amazing job jumping into the archives, newspapers, and figuring out what it was all about back in the 1990s, 80s, and 70s.”

The winner of the show was announced by Lipscomb’s Dean of Student Engagement, Candace Williams.

Lipscomb's Dean of Student Engagement, Candace Williams announcing the winner for the Theme category. Photo Taken by Mary English.
Lipscomb’s Dean of Student Engagement, Candace Williams announcing the winner for the Theme category. Photo Taken by Mary English.

Williams, who has seen the show multiple times this week and was backstage during the show today, says that it’s the students enjoyment and participation that is her favorite part of the event.

” I saw the show Monday night and Wednesday night, so I’ve been in the back for Thursday, Friday and today’s show,” Williams explained. “Just being around all the students. They’re so excited. They’ve worked so hard. Just being with them and meeting new students has been the best part of this whole thing.”

Parrish, who has been with the students every night for the past week in preparation for the event, echoed this sentiment. He also made sure to mention the many groups of people that it takes to make Singarama the spectacle that it is.

“The students are front center and I’ve been here with them every night for the last week. Their dedication is unwavering. There’s a group of people backstage in the tech, the ETS is incredible; there’s people behind the scenes that never make it on the stage that make this possible. The people that have the students that picked out the host costumes, to the band practicing.” Parrish said.

“It really took a village. It took a village. So again, it’s all about the students and the fact that this is a student led initiative is something that’s really inspiring.”

The fourth and final showing of this year’s Singarama will be on Saturday, April 6 in Willard Collins Auditorium. Show time is set to start at 7:00pm ct. Ticket information for the show can be found here.