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Songfest 2021

Songfest 2021 *IS* happening in a modified virtual format. For more about Songfest 2021, see here.

Songfest 2021 is being produced amidst very unusual circumstances arising from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the information on this site may not be applicable to the Songfest 2021 production.


Frequently Asked Questions - Participants

The following are some questions that are often asked by students who are thinking about participating in Songfest by joining a Songfest group.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Group Formation FAQs
Group Leader FAQs
Songfest Host FAQs

If you have a question that isn't answered here, please email songfest@pepperdine.edu.


What is Songfest?

Started in 1973, Songfest is one of Pepperdine's oldest and best traditions. Over several evenings each spring, groups of students perform original musical stage shows focused on a given theme. Each group show may be no longer than 12 minutes, and is heavily focused on singing and dancing. Performances are held in Smothers Theatre and feature high production values- including a live pit orchestra, elaborate lighting design, and a large technical crew. The performances are judged in several categories, as the student groups are competing with each other for the Songfest Sweepstakes Award. This award is presented after the final performance to the group with the highest score totals over the run of performances. Far more than competition, though, Songfest is about community and fellowship. The event brings hundreds of students together, who build friendships and life-long memories together as they prepare, rehearse, and perform their shows.

How can I participate in Songfest?

Most people participate by joining a Songfest group as a cast member or helper. There are also many other ways to get involved with Songfest, including roles as production staff, hosts, group leaders, pit orchestra musicians, technical crew members, marketing and communication team members, and more.

Who can join a Songfest group?

Students currently enrolled at Pepperdine University's Seaver College may join the traditional student groups competing in the current show.

Is Songfest just for fraternities, sororities, clubs, and organizations?

NO! Anyone can participate!

How do I join a student Songfest group?

  1. Attend the Songfest Kick-Off Event.
  2. Choose any group (see participating groups here.)
  3. Register as a participant for your chosen group.
    • You must register before you can rehearse.
    • You may register at the very start of your first rehearsal
    • You may even register before the Kick-Off Event!
  4. Complete a liability waiver and give it to your group's Producer at your first rehearsal.
  5. Attend your group's nightly rehearsals.
    • Rehearsal information is available at the Kick-Off Event, from your group leaders, or by emailing songfest@pepperdine.edu.

Visit here for full participant information.

If I missed the Kick-Off Event, can I still join a group?

Yes. Start attending rehearsals with the group of your choice, and be sure to register online with that group.

When and where is my group (or any group) rehearsing?

Do any of the following:

  1. Attend the Songfest Kick-Off Event (rehearsal locations announced).
  2. Contact the leaders from the group of your choice.
  3. Email songfest@pepperdine.edu and we can give you the latest rehearsal information.

If I don't already have a group, can I still be in Songfest?

Yes! All student groups are open to all students. Just come to the Songfest Kick-Off Event. You will be welcome to join in. You can learn more about each group here. Missed the Kick-Off, need more information, or seeking a recommendation? Email songfest@pepperdine.edu and we'll help you out.

What is the Songfest Kick-Off Event?

The Kick-Off Event marks the first night of Songfest rehearsals. All potential particpants gather together at one time and in one place. Lots of Songfest information is provided (including group rehearsal information). The Kick-Off Event usually lasts about 15-20 minutes, and then each group heads off to immediately hold their first rehearsal. It's a very exciting night!

When and where is the Songfest Kick-Off Event?

Detailed information about the Kick-Off Event can be found here.

When are rehearsals?

Student group rehearsals begin the night of the Songfest Kick-Off Event, and (with occasional exceptions) continue nightly- usually from 10 PM - Midnight. Rehearsals stop after the Thursday night before Spring Break, and resume on the Sunday night at the end of Spring Break. Group Orchestra and Technical Rehearsals are on the Saturday and Sunday of the final weekend before performnances, and the Dress Rehearsal is on the Monday evening immediately preceding the Tuesday night show opening. In all, there are just over 2 weeks of rehearsals.

Why are rehearsals so late?

  1. This is the only daily time period during which no classes are scheduled (and therefore all participants can attend).
  2. This is the only time when the campus' largest rehearsal rooms are available.
  3. Because it is a competition, it is important that, for the most part, all student groups are rehearsing at the same times and in similar locations.

When are performances?

Performances are in March. The latest ticket and performance information can be found here.

There are 5 Songfest performances. The show opens to the public on Wednesday with a Preview Performance, and continues nightly through the 2nd Saturday after Spring Break. Performances are at 7:30 PM each night, with an additional 2 PM matinee performance on Saturday.

How many people are in each Songfest group?

Student group sizes typically range from about 20 cast members to over 80 participants. Groups are not allowed to have more than 85 participants.

What if a group has more than 85 people that want to participate?

Group leaders are responsible for ensuring their group has no more than 85 performers. If a group has more than 85 people wishing to perform, it is up to group leaders to determine which people are in the group, and which are not. As rehearsals begin, the Songfest staff will work closely with all group leaders to make sure that any student(s) unable to participate with their initial group may still participate with another group.

Can I join a "Greek" Songfest group even if I'm not in their organization(s)?

Students may join any group. A Songfest group name doesn't necessarily have anything to do with whether the group is intended for "Greeks" or not. It's just the name that the group leaders have given their group. Traditionally, the show is full of both "Greek" and "non-Greek" students, and you'll find both types of students in most (or even all) groups.

What if I am not a Seaver student?

During certain years, there is also a non-competing Alumni, Staff, Faculty, and Friends group which participates and performs. This group is open to several non-undergraduate kinds of participants, and offers a rehearsal schedule that is much less intense than that of the traditional competing student groups. Unsurprisingly, this group is loved by our students and audience members. If you are interested in participating with this group, please contact the staff at songfest@pepperdine.edu.

How are the groups chosen?

Please see our Group Formation FAQs.

How are the group leaders chosen?

Please see our Group Leader FAQs.

How does one become a Songfest host?

Please see our Host FAQs.