What are your plans for Fall Break?
A Comical Moment
Songfest unites Tigers in a harmony of shared sufferingBy KATIE RAPIER
The description of No. 7 of the Admissions Office’s online “Top Ten Traditions” reads: “…the October show that ranks highest on the campus’s must-see list is strictly an amateur production. “Songfest, a Georgetown original, is an evening of skits written by, starring and produced by all of the Greek organizations on campus and any residence hall that is interested in participating. These skits incorporate singing, dancing and acting, and range from wacky and off-the-wall to elaborate productions rivaling local musical theatre troupes. The only criterion is that each skit must incorporate the year’s Homecoming theme in some way. Songfest is held annually on the Friday night preceding Homecoming…the Chapel is packed to capacity…this is one Georgetown tradition that you don’t want to miss!”
Admissions seems to be portraying Songfest as a demonstration of how the students of Georgetown College are like the East High Schoolers of Disney’s “High School Musical”— all exceptionally good-looking and musically talented. This delusion is first deflated in all-campus worship (fortunately, the Lord doesn’t mind if you sing off key), then with Songfest. Granted, some students do emulate Zac Efron in their performing abilities, but they are few and far between. If we are not all Broadway-bound, what is the purpose of devoting time and energy during the peak of the semester to produce less than eight minutes of melodic mediocrity? Couldn’t our funds and drive be channeled to some higher purpose?
Perhaps the true purpose of Songfest lies beyond the level of its aesthetic appeal. Maybe there’s a force working subtly beneath the surface, improving our campus life and building our character. Surely the time, tension and transgender costumes add up to something. That something consists of more than the sum of the parts. The whole, together, makes a unique campus harmony. Not Idina Menzel taking the high B melody and Kristen Chenoweth the moderate G harmony. The type of harmony generated by Songfest is one of unified suffering.
Students began the semester looking forward to Songfest: anticipating the announcement of the theme and speculating plot ideas. The excitement is soon subdued as September comes to a close and the daunting prospect of Oct. 16 becomes more and more of a reality. Practicing in secret, each skit is kept private by every organization, yet the feeling of loathing is universal. Professors are assigning papers and projects, administering exams and expecting top-quality daily work. They are, of course, disappointed, and thus a vicious cycle of unhappines begins.
Professors complain that students are distracted from their work. Students complain that professors expect too much during this time. Parents and significant others complain that they cannot contact individuals during daylight hours. Who in their right mind would endorse such an unfortunate series of events? Clearly, from their online publications, Admissions finds Songfest conducive to recruiting. The Georgetown Activities Council, an organization known for championing on-campus weekends and student involvement, sponsors and organizes the event.
Perhaps they are working under the adage that a campus that complains together, stays together on the weekends out of exhaustion.