One of the biggest concerns for students involved in Spring Sing is impressing the panel of nine judges who analyze and critique every element of their shows and who ultimately decide the winners of Spring Sing.
This panel of judges consists of a group of alumni who come from across the country and who specialize in areas like music, staging and visuals.
Katie Frazier, a 2006 graduate with a degree in music education, now teaches music at Middle Tennessee Christian School in Murfreesboro, Tenn. As a student at Harding, she was a cast member and a director for Zeta Rho/TNT shows and a member of the Spring Sing ensemble for two years. Frazier said she believes she was among those chosen to judge this year because of her experience as a music teacher, as well as the variety of roles she held in Spring Sing shows during her time as a student. She said because of these roles, she understands how important it is to have knowledgeable judges.
“It was an honor to be asked by Cindee Stockstill,” Frazier said. “I want to do my best to evaluate each show based on the rubrics provided.”
Likewise, Brandt Roberts, a 2006 graduate who majored in theatre and vocational ministry and also has a master’s degree in performing arts, said he was selected because of his education and theatre experience. Roberts said he looks forward to being involved in Spring Sing this year because the show gives people a chance to enjoy an event together.
“Spring Sing means interpersonal communication on a large scale,” Roberts said. “It’s nice to come together in one room, albeit a very large room. We laugh, we sing, we tap our feet. There is a wonderful synergy between audience and performer. For a short time, we are united.”
Spring Sing judges strive for impartiality in their judging. According to Elizabeth Harrell, a 2009 graduate with a degree in vocal music education, judges must demonstrate that they are far enough removed from their time as students that they no longer show bias toward any club.
Harrell said that while they make every effort to be impartial, judges are still there because they themselves have been deeply impacted by their experiences as students in Spring Sing.
“(As a student in Spring Sing) I got to be Mary Poppins and fly,” Harrell said. “I also made best friends through ensemble and hosting. It was the best time, and in 10 years, I bet you will still remember every dance move and every parody line to your songs. You will make great memories, and those lyrics will be burned into your brain forever. I can’t wait to see the show.”