For the first time in Oklahoma Christian University’s history, audience members will watch Spring Sing outside. The change in location, caused new issues to arise – namely, the lack of a proper stage and equipment.
Oklahoma Christian’s event crew, led by Garon Shuck, worked side by side with Blue Circle Productions starting Monday, April 5 to build a stage and video wall. Blue Circle Productions is no stranger to Oklahoma Christian, as they have provided lighting equipment for the university in the past. This year, they also assisted with the designs from the event crew’s model. Their major concerns were securing the video wall and the stage.
Blake Mayfield, a member of the event crew, said Spring Sing requires more equipment than other events.
“We did Freshman Fanfare with in-house lighting, and we had to rent a few things,” Mayfield said. “We hired these guys because it’s the first year in the forum for Spring Sing, and we wanted help with the stage and the video wall. Everything else was student led.”
Will Hadley, one of Chi Lambda Phi’s Spring Sing directors, said the change in location was necessary, but it will affect the type of performance.
“The acoustics are not the same, and there’s no slanted stage, so not everyone can be seen on stage,” Hadley said. “We pre-recorded our vocals this year, so it will be interesting to see how the audio syncs up with our voices.”
Kaitlyn Raney, the executive treasurer, has been involved with Spring Sing since her freshman year. She said the show will be a new challenge.
“It is hard to hear through the masks, and in the forum, we have a lot more space to fill when we sing,” Raney said.
Addyson Shipley, one of the freshman directors, said she also worried about vocals.
“We did pre-record vocals, so I’m hoping it would help with volume, but that is a concern of mine since we are outside and we have to wear masks, and anything could happen,” Shipley said.
The stage itself is also a concern. Shipley said her biggest worry was someone falling off, since it is raised.
Only 300 audience members are allowed at the show each night to allow for proper social distancing, which originally appeared to be a problem to Raney. However, she said there were pros and cons to each space.
“I was afraid the forum was too small at first,” Raney said. “Of course, we would have a bigger crowd inside. However, there would have been a whole different set of issues with performing in Baugh.”
Further COVID-19 precautions included wearing masks while rehearsing, allowing only one-hour rehearsals and testing every participant every other week. As of Monday, April 5, there were zero positive cases.
Jacob Knox, one of the executive directors, said safety was the top priority.
“Here at Oklahoma Christian, we’re really taking our time to make sure all of our students, faculty and staff are safe, especially for Spring Sing,” Knox said in a promotional video for the event. “Obviously, we’ve spent a lot of time together, but we’ve had practices outside, having our show outside, wearing masks, being tested, making sure that we’re safe.”
The performers also have restrictions for how many times they are allowed to touch while on stage. At the end of the show, there will only be two directors from each club on stage instead of the usual crowd of participants.
Raney said although there were changes, the show helped the world feel more normal.
“I’m really glad we are still able to enjoy Spring Sing through all the COVID-19 craziness. At least a little normal in a time full of weird,” Raney said.
Both the Friday and Saturday night shows begin at 8:30 p.m. All tickets are currently sold out. However, the event will also be live-streamed at oc.edu/live for those who cannot attend. All participants and viewers are encouraged to bring their own chairs.