Jim Barnette: There were many good ones – Zeta had a few good ones my junior and senior years, but I’ll tell you the one that was significant because this is what happened: it was my freshman year, the, and we had gone through the show—now this is what’s interesting: Back then, Phi Mu Alpha, the music fraternity, was so good they were not allowed to compete. They were amazing, and they really were. These guys would get up there and they had unbelievable voices and half of them were in the a cappella choir. And then there were always these folks who just knew choreography so well, and it was just understood by the time I arrived, Phi Mu Alpha was not allowed to compete because they would win every, it was the show, hands down. And they were doing a salute to the armed forces, okay? And so they did each of the branches and the music and they did it in a variety, sometimes soft, sometimes loud, you know, good choreography, and what was interesting was just before they came out – they were always the finale – just before they came out, news arrived that the US had defeated Russia, or the Soviet Union I should say, in hockey in the ’80 Olympics, which was huge—you know the movie Miracle? So they came out and announced that, and—was her name Cathy Carver? I’m trying to remember the two emcees, but they came out and announced that. The place erupted. And I was in the balcony, and I thought, “This is going to cave in, we’re all going to die,” because, literally, people cheered, and I’m not making this up, I’d say ten minutes. People cheered, went wild and then “U.S.A. U.S.A.” screaming at the top of their lungs. And it was one of the more memorable things in my four years here. I tell you who else will tell you about it was Melissa Martin. What’s her last name? Alpin? Or whatever. Works over here, redhead. Anyway, because I remember her talking about it years later in some context, and she was an ADPi here, but I mean the place erupted. And not just the students, like everybody. And so okay, we’ve had this huge, ten minute craziness. Well, then Phi Mu Alpha comes out and does the salute to the armed forces, and it’s 1980: Reagan and, you know, national defense and patriotism, the hostages are back and all of that and the place, like they did every, you know, when they would begin every branch, you know, people would go crazy. And at the end they sang “America the Beautiful” and they started very, very, very quietly, and then they did this loud, fast crescendo of “AMMEEEEEEERRICA” and they went on singing for another two or three minutes, you didn’t hear anything. The people just went crazy. It’s one of the loudest places I’ve ever been, because the pitch over there is pretty precise anyway. So that was very memorable for Step Sing. And what was fun too, it had nothing to do with competition. I think that’s why I loved it so much. It was not extended intramurals for a moment.

Search This Transcript