It should come as no surprise that the theme of Spring Sing this year is extremely fitting. New to the presidential role this year, Dr. Bruce McLarty has only three short weeks to go in his first year as Harding’s president. McLarty said he has dealt with many new activities this year, but Spring Sing is not one of them.
McLarty is not an amateur when it comes to Spring Sing. He first participated in Spring Sing while he was a student at Harding. McLarty said he was not in the actual show, but he was a part of the backstage crew that produced smoke using a homemade 55-gallon drum filled with dry ice and water. He said this turned out to be one of his fondest Spring Sing memories.
Heading into “Miracle Week,” the week leading up to actual performances, McLarty said he had not participated much in any Spring Sing-related events. He said he wrote the welcome for the Spring Sing program, and it was a new adventure.
“I have not seen the show yet,” McLarty said. “I know that it deals with the theme of ‘New.’ My only participation thus far (was) writing the welcome for the program, which, for a show called ‘New,’ was a new experience for me. It was all very appropriate.”
McLarty will actually perform on stage this year, alongside other faculty members including Chancellor David Burks, in a short piece involving grandparents during one of the ensemble numbers.
Burks said he never participated in Spring Sing while he was president.
“Spring Sing did not exist when I was a student,” Burks said. “I was asked a couple of times to participate in Spring Sing as president and I opted not to do that. That did not stop my name from being used, but nonetheless, I did not participate.”
Even though Burks never participated in Spring Sing until this year, he still has a passion for the event unlike any other. He said he would put it in his top five activities he looks forward to every year.
“It is where I see camaraderie existing at the highest level,” Burks said. “Spring Sing, the Homecoming musical, a football game, the Rhodes Rowdies during a close basketball game — that is where you can just sense this fellowship and the love that students have for each other. So, to me, it is a really special time.”
According to McLarty, Spring Sing participants from years past always tell him how special it was to be involved in Spring Sing. He said he believes people always identify themselves by the groups they were a part of during their time as a student.
“In terms of the bigger picture, I think it all deals with the word ‘community,’ ” McLarty said. “People always identify themselves by groups they are a part of. They went to Honors Symposium together; they were in the same Impact group; or they went to HUF together. ‘We were in Spring Sing together’ is something you hear all the time. People will carry that the rest of their lives.”