Looking back at S!NG 2022

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S!NG returned to Townsend Harris High School with four shows on November 19 and November 20, with the Freshiors being announced the winners of the 2022 S!NG competition. The entirely student-written and directed productions by the Freshior and Semore teams were highly anticipated as one of the first in-person performances since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Friday and Saturday evening performances were broadcast on YouTube by The Classic. 

After last year’s virtual showcase, S!NG veterans and newcomers alike were excited to get back to performing on the real THHS stage. Despite COVID-19 regulations such as vaccine mandates placing participation restrictions on students, both teams managed to successfully put on their productions. 

Centered around this year’s theme of Apocalypse, both team’s productions highlighted concepts such as resilience, family, and friendship. The Freshiors produced “Deserted” and the Semores produced “Life Could Be A Dream.” 

The two teams took distinctive paths when creating their show. Freshior overall director (and Classic editor) Elliot Heath said, “Our team interpreted the theme in a largely dark and dramatic way. The apocalypse immediately appealed to us as a unique S!NG prompt, so we did not want to waste its potential. You can see several of the effects of our interpretation in our show, including the ominous backdrop, the dark costumes that many of the performers wear, the punk and sinister song choices, and the overall narrative themes that were considerably more solemn this year than in past years.”

Semore overall director Lynda Irizarry said, “Our show was essentially a dream-pocalypse where everyone’s dreams suddenly come to life and the main characters are trying to figure out how to stop it. We really wanted to make a show that highlighted how family can be found and they can help you even in the darkest of times. We also wanted to avoid any topics too triggering and current because that is something that I know a lot of people and I, myself, struggle with.”

The Freshiors’ performance focused on two siblings and an android searching to uncover their scientist father’s secrets amid the aftermath of a nuclear fallout. They opened up their show with an explosive performance to Olivia Rodrigo’s “brutal,” later followed by a dance number to “One Way or Another” by Blondie. Many laughs were shared among the audience from strong comedic timing by Freshior actors. 

The Semores put a creative twist on their apocalypse, in which dreams manifest into reality, and protagonist Milo and company must navigate the chaos to survive through the chaos. Semores set one dance to “Gloria Regali” by Tommee Profitt, and did a dance battle to a mashup of “Do you?” by Troyboi, “Start a Riot” by duckwrth, and “COPYCAT” by Billie Eilish. Captivating vocals to songs like “Six Feet Under” by Billie Eilish and “Dream” by Pied Pipers were used to reflect the apocalyptic setting.

The Saturday evening show was judged by a panel of 15 alumni from the Class of 2018 and years prior, based on seven categories: Art, Vocal, Instrumental, Dance, Acting, Writing, and Backstage. Although both the Freshiors and the Semores have a Costume & Makeup department, Costume & Makeup was not recognized separately in the rubric. Interestingly, both teams introduced an additional department this year: Stunt for the Semores and Social Media & Communications for the Freshiors. 

As tradition follows, the winners of this year’s S!NG were announced at the end of the Saturday evening performance. The Freshiors narrowly won by a score of 917-915 points, edging the Semores in the individual categories of Writing, Acting, and Backstage. The Semores won their respective categories of Vocal, Dance, Instrumental, and Art. 

For many S!NG participants, the announcement of department winners came as a shock since only the overall winner was announced in years past. Senior Nissabelle Rianom said, “When I heard the announcements of department winners, I was extremely shocked and honestly really nervous about it. I knew that people would feel disappointed in themselves for losing their departments and I did not want that to ruin the overall energy.” 

Similar reactions by both Freshiors and Semores were felt across the auditorium. Freshior Social Media & Communications director Benjamin Babayev said, “I was surprised they announced it by category as this isn’t a S!NG norm and I was worried that it could have made department directors feel they didn’t do enough and that they contributed to their department’s win/loss. ”

During S!NG 2020, administration had notified the student body via email of their plan to announce department winners, but this decision was overturned following reactions from upset S!NG directors.

In response to the victory, Elliot said, “To be completely honest, I was surprised that we won. I was so astonished by the spectacular production that the Semores put on that it diluted my confidence in our victory. Our victory is nothing without them as well as our outstanding team of directors and participants. However, I don’t think whoever wins S!NG should matter all that much, since both teams performed great shows and hopefully garnered rewarding experiences along the way. We hope to see everyone next year, where we’ll try our best to put on the best show possible and continue to uphold our close-knit S!NG community.” 

Similarly, Lynda said, “I really hope that next year’s team keeps the S!NG spirit alive. That’s what we were afraid of coming out of quarantine, that people wouldn’t be as enthusiastic but we were gladly proven wrong. I have total faith that in the years to come, the teams will have even more spirit than the last.”


Point Distribution For The Freshiors:

Vocal: 120

Writing: 138

Instrumental: 137

Dance: 121

Acting: 138

Art: 130

Backstage: 133


Point Distribution For The Semores:

Vocal: 135

Writing: 104

Instrumental: 139

Dance: 145

Acting: 126

Art: 139

Backstage: 127


Photo by Erica Lee