Pillbox

Greek Sing

Credit: Lisa Qian/Photo Editor Credit: Lisa Qian/Photo Editor Credit: Lisa Qian/Photo Editor Credit: Lisa Qian/Photo Editor

Greek Sing is a philanthropic event where CMU's Greek organizations perform 15 minute musicals written by their students. Previously partnering with various philanthropies and programs, this year's Greek Sing was a continuation of their two-year commit to fundraising for Camp Kesem, a charity program that “operates free summer camps for children who have been impacted by a parent’s cancer.” Hosted at various colleges and universities nationwide, many of our own students here at Carnegie Mellon have close ties with the program, raising money and working as camp counselors and organizers over the summer. Last year, Greek Sing established a partnership with Camp Kesem to raise $150,000 over two years. Not only did they meet this goal, but with this year’s overall total of $112,598.26, they blew past it, raising a grand total of $213,120.79 since 2016.

The show kicked off with hosts senior and economics major Domenico Barbieri, junior drama student Krissy Bylancik, junior biological sciences major Mason Miles, and junior mechanical engineering major Amber Paige, introducing each of the organizations with the help of Infra Dance Company in a lively parody of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” After their opening remarks, the sororities and frats began their 15 minute productions.

Act one started off with Alpha Tau Omega’s Newsies. Seeing their performance, it was obvious to see why they won first in the singles division. Fun and energetic, the boys of Alpha Tau Omega perfectly portrayed the poor “newsies,” or roaming newspaper street vendors, of New York, complete with newspaper choreography and a wonderful New York City skyline. Junior chemical engineering major Grant Seastream shone as the lead character Jack, surprising the audience with a tap solo and his confident voice.

Next up was the first doubles show in the event, Alice in Wonderland with Delta Gamma and Sigma Phi Epsilon. Starring electrical and computer engineering major and senior Tara Stentz as Alice, the show was a wonderful nod to the eclectic and whimsical nature of the original story. Featuring characters such as duo Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the ever-late White Rabbit, the commanding Queen of Hearts, and the enigmatic Blue Caterpillar, the show was dynamic and vastly entertaining. With this performance, Delta Gamma and Sigma Phi Epsilon put a strong foot forward in the doubles division, showcasing their wonderful collaboration. Their hard work paid off, and they placed third overall.

The next performance continued the singles division with a unique and entertaining interpretation of The Last Airbender. Complete with spray bottle water-bending, tissue-paper fire, and endless 420 puns, the boys of Lambda Phi Epsilon kept the audience laughing. They adapted all three seasons of Nickelodeon’s animated show Avatar: The Last Airbender to create a 13-minute version of the Avatar’s journey to defeat the leader of the fire nation, which is an impressive feat in itself. By far the most interesting part of their show was the usage of step dancing as fight choreography. Clever and cool, the two sides engaged in an energetic step-dance battle for victory. The Last Airbender placed second in the singles division.

Finishing off both the first act and the singles division was Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s original show The Cardfather. Following a similar vein to last year’s Rata-tool-y, the story followed a playing card – and his companion, who is cleverly named Vanilla Ace - who was separated from his love Nina by a disastrous game of 52 pickup, and his journey to get her back. Always filled with jokes and Carnegie Mellon references, Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s creative show landed them in third place.

Act two began with the second doubles performance of the night, Grease. Delta Delta Delta and Pi Kappa Alpha – who go together like shoo-bop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom - showed us the true spirit of Greek Sing with their wonderful collaboration. Their 13-minute version of Grease was a well-done nod to its originals - the movie and the Broadway productions, bringing the fun energy of the 1950s to life. Their talented leads, music major and sophomore Gabriel Garcia and junior mechanical engineering and public policy double major Elizabeth Elrod, and supporting characters all came together to create an entertaining and impressive show, rightfully earning them second place in the doubles division.

Kappa Alpha Theta and Delta Tau Delta’s Catch Me if You Can was full of inventive choreography and dynamic characters. Each actor and actress was clearly enjoying the performance all the way through, having fun while putting on a great show. With fun costumes and a flexible set, the two organizations created the world of the show and fluidly changed scenes. It was cohesive, creative, and incredibly entertaining. While they didn’t place, Kappa Alpha Theta and Delta Tau Delta successfully adapted the Broadway musical and made it their own.

Next up was Kappa Kappa Gamma and Phi Delta Theta with their inventive version of Pippin. Sophomore chemical engineering major Izzy Vendetti as the Leading Player drew the audience in with her enigmatic performance, literally taking control of the stage and at times commanding the crew and musicians. Vocal performance major and senior Jacqueline Tardanico was sweet as the main character Pippin, her voice strong and confident. Their set — a series of movable boxes and part of a giant tent — served its purpose and set the stage for the production. Incredibly different from the other shows in both the costumes, set, and show itself, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Phi Delta Theta’s Pippin was incredibly exciting.

Going from a show within a show to the deep jungle, next was Alpha Phi and Alpha Sigma Phi’s The Jungle Book. Soloist and freshman engineering student Brenna Pellon shone as main character Mowgli, with her bright and energetic nature bringing the character to life. Senior vocal performance major Maddy Marquis captivated the audience with her performance as the hypnotizing snake Kaa, as did sophomore statistics major Abby Pfingsten with her performance as Queen Louie of the jungle. It was a fun version of the original movie, complete with iconic songs such as “I Wanna Be Like You” and “Bare Necessities.”

From one jungle to another, alpha Kappa Delta Phi and Sigma Chi’s Tarzan was a crowd favorite. Utilizing famous songs from the original Disney movie and ingeniously resourceful costumes, Tarzan was a heartwarming tribute to the original. Each of the soloists – from the mother, played by sophomore psychology major Se Eun Park; to Jane, played by freshman Dietrich student Sophia Lee; to Tarzan himself, played by senior physics major Paul Rogozenski — had a wonderful voice and brought their characters to life. The two organizations rightfully won the Kid’s Choice Award with their high-spirited and vibrant show.

Coming in first place was Gotham Side Story. An original adaptation of West Side Story, Alpha Chi Omega and Alpha Epsilon Phi created a hilarious parody based on the heroes and villains of the DC Universe. Following the general plot of West Side Story, the show was centered on superhero-newbie Cathy (later dubbed “Fantastic Girl” by the Orb of Random Adjectives) and almost-retired villain Punchline. The two developed a budding romance despite their warring associations, eventually leading the heroes and villains to give each other a chance. Hilarious and a little bit heartbreaking, the show was an excellent parody and a true testament to the spirit of Greek Sing.

This year’s Greek Sing was a wonderful way to celebrate philanthropy. Featuring a meet and greet with Camp Kesem campers, it was easy to see how important and touched the members of Greek Sing were. The show brought together Carnegie Mellon’s Greek organizations to put on a brilliant show and brought the Carnegie Mellon community together to raise money for deeply valuable program. The Greek organizations on campus continued to blow us away with their dedication, motivation, and creativity.

Here is the full list of awards:

Sorority Philanthropy:
1. Delta Delta Delta, $16,083.77
2. Delta Gamma, $15,080.15
3. Alpha Chi Omega, $8,809.00

Fraternity Philanthropy:
1. Sigma Chi, $13,570.90
2. Sigma Phi Epsilon, $10,408.95
3. Phi Delta Theta, $6,821.00

Single’s Performance:
1. Alpha Tau Omega, Newsies
2. Lambda Phi Epsilon, The Last Airbender
3. Sigma Alpha Epsilon, The Cardfather

Doubles Performance
1. Alpha Chi Omega & Alpha Epsilon Pi, Gotham Side Story
2. Delta Delta Delta & Pi Kappa Alpha, Grease
3. Delta Gamma & Sigma Phi Epsilon, Alice in Wonderland

Chairman’s Choice: Sigma Chi

This year, Greek Sing introduced a new award: the Kid’s Choice Award. Accurately named, the award is determined by the kids of Carnegie Mellon’s Camp Kesem in attendance.

Kid’s Choice Award: Alpha Kappa Delta Phi & Sigma Chi, Tarzan