Samford has a lot of fun traditions that scatter across the calendar and are campus wide experiences. From Lighting of the Way at Christmastime to Spring Fling, there is always an event to look forward too. The biggest event though is Step Sing. For those of you who don't know (and if you have made it this far into the recruitment process without hearing about Step Sing, you have officially set a record), Step Sing is where all of the organizations on campus come together during the first weeks of the second semester and divide into teams to create six minute shows of"Glee" style singing and dancing.
At first, I was a little skeptical. I can't step or sing so combining those two into one big "Step Sing" performance did not seem like the best move for me. I was finally convinced to join my fraternity's team and spend the next few weeks of my life prancing around merrily while raising a joyful noise with 64 of my closest friends.
It did not take very long until my whole perspective on the cherished Samford tradition did a complete 180 degree turnaround. It hit me that Step Sing really isn't about all the singing and dancing as much as it is about the camaraderie and the quality time spent with your great friends. Our group would practice for a few hours a day, perfecting an incredible show designed and directed by our fellow fraternity brothers, in preparation for the big night. Our show was "Nerds." It was the story of nerds and jocks and their daily interactions in high school. After every practice we would go crazy in a giant mosh pit shouting to encourage one another to do his best. This motivation and excitement helped us endure the more challenging practices and even led me to practice getting into character whenever I had the chance outside of class and group practice.
Step Sing also puts a big emphasis on community service. Each year, there is a Step Sing philanthropy, and this year's was Terra Nova Academy, which is a preschool in Uganda that was founded by a Samford graduate. We were able to raise $12,000 for this school through various efforts throughout the weeks of Step Sing. It was cool to see how the Lord is working in and through this Samford graduate and her efforts to provide a Christian education to kids in Uganda.
Finally, the big weekend arrived! We were prepared for three nights of performances in front of a sold out Wright Center crowd. This was most definitely the coolest step in the whole Step Sing process because we got to see everything that the other groups had been working on and keeping secret. There were several shows that were jaw dropping. It really is incredible to see 60+ students dancing in unison while they sing some classic hit tunes. If you haven't looked it up on YouTube yet; now is your chance! (See pretty cool, huh?)
The first two nights of performances were great, but you could definitely feel the electricity in the Wright Center throughout Saturday night's show, where professional judges come and decide which team will be crowned Sweepstakes Champ and have bragging rights until the next year. As mentioned before, there were several incredible shows; so as I sat watching them, I thought we had no chance of winning. Our director told us that he was proud of us and of all we had accomplished.
But then the judges results were in… 2nd and 3rd place came and went with no mention of the nerds from Pi Kappa Phi. Now the moment of truth was here. "The winner of this year's sweepstakes is… Pi Kappa Phi!" Never have I ever heard such excitement from a group of dudes over a singing and dancing competition. We went absolutely nuts and stormed the stage, claiming our gigantic trophy. All of the long hours paid off as we improbably hoisted the Sweepstakes Trophy. That moment further affirmed that I go to the best school in the world. A place where a ton of guys can come together for a couple weeks and have the time of their lives singing and dancing and just enjoying time together, I love it and the chance to give back in the process. Steppin' and Singin'until next time!