SING! Members Prepare for Final Showdown
By ALLEN SZETO, CAROLINE LOUIE, and NAM TA
Picture this: It’s Friday night and the auditorium is filled to the brim with parents and friends, phones in hand, ready to document the night. Backstage, the pressure is on and adrenaline is rushing. As the commissioners give their speech, everyone waits silently as excitement and nerves fill the air. All the work put in over the past four months has led to this very moment. Suddenly, the spotlight shines as the curtains open wide and the show begins. This is SING!
In 1947, Bella Tillis, a music teacher at Midwood High School started the tradition of SING!, an annual high school theatrical performance that consists of student-developed theater, music, dance, art and costuming. This performance originated in Midwood High School and slowly spread to other high schools such as Murrow, Madison, Goldstein, Lincoln, and Stuyvesant, according to Ellen Levitt of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
At Midwood, three separate performances are developed by freshmen and sophomores (SoFresh), juniors, and seniors. Each group works on their performance from the beginning of the school year until the final performances February 8-9 in the auditorium. On these days, each performance is viewed by a group of judges who decide which group put on the best performance and declares that group the winner. Last year’s winners were the seniors.
For over 25 years, Ms. Marcia Kaufman, a math teacher at Midwood, has been involved in SING! She is currently the advisor to the juniors.
“I’ve kept going for the kids,” said Ms. Kaufman. “As long as I’m around, I plan on continuing.”
Although seen as the underdogs of SING!, SoFresh is confident in the talent within their group this year.
Justin Too ’21, one of the SoFresh commissioners, said, “I think SING! is coming along great. There have been some minor difficulties, but everything is on track.”
Kelly Luo ’21, another commissioner of SoFresh, said, “I’m most confident in our art because they have a lot of potential and they’re good at doing what they do.”
SoFresh is learning a lot and gaining experience for the upcoming years.
“The most challenging aspect of managing SING! is that every section works at their own pace, and it can get a bit stressful,” Too said.
Jennifer Yakubov ’20, one of the junior commissioners, said, “Managing SING! can be stressful, but towards the end everything gets kind of fun when everything is finished. It’s mostly a lot of stress because everyone counts on you, and you need to make sure that you’re the person who knows everything about SING!, but you also need to make sure that everyone is having fun.”
Moneca Tremans ’20, one of the leaders of Junior Dance, said, “Because we’re all in the same grade and we’re all the same age, it’s difficult to feel a sense of authority over the students you’re managing. It’s hard to tell them what to do all the time.”
Jessica Vittoriano ’19 said, “Being a part of so many different groups and attending all of them is challenging, but it’s fun. I am confident in dance the most because I used to dance when I was little. It’s hard trying to get everything in and done by the time we want so we can do a dress rehearsal, but it is coming together.”
With the final performance dates for SING! approaching quickly, leaders are in the process of wrapping up and making sure that everything is perfect.
“It’s getting there,” said Isaiah Daniel ’20, the leader of Junior Acting. “With time we’ll get everything done, and I’m confident that the show will go well. Memorizing lines was a challenge at first, but I know that they [the actors] soon will, and I understand that everyone is busy dealing with schoolwork besides SING!”
For seniors, SING! ‘19 is their last chance to present a spectacular show before they graduate.
“My strengths this year are the ability to visualize things and manage the group of people,” said Jessie Chen ’19, the Senior commissioner. “My competition is Junior and SoFresh SING! Their strengths are in their creativeness and unpredictability.”
Participants of SING! also had their own motivations for joining the production.
“I chose to audition for SING! because a bunch of girls asked me to,” said Ethan Allone ’20, an actor.
“I joined SING! because I wanted to put my drawing passion into something bigger,” said Chen. “SING! is important to me because we can express our passion.”
Participants said that SING! is about collaborating with students with different talents, having fun together, and creating a performance that everyone can feel proud of.
“SING! is a great way to build team spirit,” said Jonathan Yakubov ’19. “Once you’re a part of SING!, you’re a part of a family, and you never lose that connection with each other.”
Moneca Tremans contributed to this article.