A week from now, Robsham will be packed with friends and the curious passerby, in search of the next big thing on campus—or maybe just to see their friend sing. Sing it to the Heights, formerly known as BC Idol, arrives on the Robsham stage to crown the next great Boston College voice.
In its 11th year on campus, Sing it to the Heights is the marquee event for the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) in conjunction with the Office of Government & Community Affairs, The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, and the Robsham Theater Arts Center. In the past, BC Idol has shone a spotlight on those with the musical gene and those who practice serious craft.
The popular event finally drew the suspicious eye of American Idol, who in corporate fashion issued a cease and desist order over the use of the show’s name and logo.
ELP and their partners at Student Involvement switched gears and held a contest within ranks to re-christen the event. Michael Padulsky, LSOE ‘15, who will co-emcee the show with Lindsey Murphy, A&S ’15, coined the event’s new name. Sing it to the Heights is a rebranding that begins to move the event away from gimmick and into a more wholesale ownership of the event. While contestation with American Idol was, at the time, not entirely ideal, it has allowed ELP and Student Affairs to take greater ownership to develop their own brand and past the Fox entertainment program and its slouching ratings.
After some focused re-branding with their name and logo—now featuring a lone microphone—ELP and company turned their attention to auditions. They were held January 25th to the 29th and ranged across the BC campus from Newton to Carney to several main auditions in Gasson.
After hearing more than a hundred students, 10 contestants emerged from the fiery crucible. This year’s group consists of singer-songwriters, members from a cappella groups, and even some accompanied by the violin.
“We got a whole range of genres and instruments,” said Alex Concepcion, member of ELP Sing it to the Heights steering team. “There were a lot of guitars and pianos. One performer brought a violin accompanist. You’re going to be hearing a really diverse crowd in the show.”
The ELP team worked to pull together the 10 best musical acts on campus but also put on an engaging show. No contestant is like the other.
“Breadth of musical performance was definitely important,” said Concepcion. “Talent was obviously looked at. We have something from every different genre, because we don’t want it to look like people are hearing the same song or same artist for every performance. We want a large array of performers and musicality just so people can enjoy the show.”
The featured contestants are the main stars of the event but will be joined by three Jesuit “judges”: Rev. Don MacMillan, S.J., Rev. Michael Davidson, S.J. and Rev. Mario Powell, S.J. All three return from last year’s event which crowned Benjamin Stevens, A&S ‘17, on vocals, and Chris Vu, A&S ’17 on piano. They’re judges in name though not in practice. They’ll be able to voice their opinion throughout the show, but the audience has the ultimate vote to decide who will win.
It all goes to worthy cause—music programs for St. Columbkille, a BC partnership school. Students who’ve benefited from such musical training will be able to put some of their skills to task during the show. Sing it to the Heights is also an important cog that fosters music on BC campus, as artists emerge out of the woodwork of the dorm basements and Lyon’s practice rooms. It’s a platform for aspiring musicians and people who just like to sing.
Featured Image by Clare Kim / Heights Staff