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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.

Songfest Group Leadership

Getting Started, Step-By-Step

Getting Started (pdf download)

How Does My Group Get Started?

1. Who is your Songfest group?

Decide who/what you think your group is. What group(s) of students will be your primary participants? ANY students can form a group! Are you focusing on Greek affiliation? Are you partnering with certain organizations (clubs, Greek orgs, etc.)? Are you a group of residence halls? Campus programs? Class years? Majors? Random students-at-large? All of these things are up to YOU to decide. Remember: ALL groups are open to ALL students.

2. Who are your primary leaders?

The leaders create and define the group (and not the other way around). To start, every group requires key overall leaders:

  1. Producer (adminstrative leader) - one single person
  2. Director(s) (creative leader[s]) - at least one person

Determine who these people are as quickly as possible, and start working together. Add the roels of musical director, writer, choreographer, and other leaders when you can- sooner is better. Make sure your leaders are committed and communicate regularly. The better your leaders, the better your show (and more importantly) your group's experience will be.

3. Attend the Group Info Meeting

Every group must send their leaders to the first Songfest meeting of the year. If your leaders aren't yet known, make sure your group has stand-in representatives present. Listen carefully, take notes, ask questions. Make sure that the information is passed along to potential leaders who are not in attendance.

4. Start brainstorming and sharing ideas

There is no time to lose. After hearing the theme at the Group Info Meeting (or reading about the theme in the Production Guide), start brainstorming and sharing possible topic choices for your group's show with each other. Think about plot, characters, setting, and (of course) songs. You will be expected to have discussed multiple thematic ideas prior to the first Group Workshop.

5. Reference your documents. Visit the website. Get oriented.

Read the leadership materials handed out at the Group Info Meeting. The latest versions of all these documents, and many other resources, are always available at pepperdinesongfest.com (in the Group Leaders section. Read the Production Guide. Read the FAQs. Know who the staff are and how to reach them. Ensure your music director reads the Music Guide. Etc.

6. Know and follow the Group Production Calendar.

The calendar is available in the Group Leaders section of the site. It will always have the latest information, and will be updated all year long. We highly recommend subscribing to this calendar in your Google, iCloud, or other calendaring system. Always know your upcoming events and deadlines.

7. Meet your deadlines.

Songfest has many deadlines. These are designed to make the challenge of putting together a huge show a manageable and successful process. Each deadline is scheduled in the production calendar. A description of each deadline, including detailed requirements of how to fulfill it, is available in the Deadline Descriptions document. Whenever there is a deadline approaching in the calendar, go read the details in the latest Deadline Descriptions, and make sure you complete all of the requirements.

8. Submit your group entry

The first deadline is Group Formation. Be sure to formally enter your group into Songfest prior to this deadline, and complete all of the required steps. If you haven't yet done so, you really need to meet with your leaders right away and discuss creative ideas (and thematic subjects) for your show.

9. Attend the first Group Workshop.

Come with your leadership team to your appointment with the staff at the Group Workshop. You are expected to have already brainstormed and discussed multiple ideas and subjects for your show. This is a time to "pitch" your initial ideas to the staff and get feedback.

10. Ask questions. Stay in touch.

Ask the staff any questions you may have at any point. Complete your producer updates through the website. Keep the staff informed of how things are going. You can contact specific staff members, or send general inquiries to songfest@pepperdine.edu. Keep your group's contact list up-to-date on the website.

11. Just keep going, taking many small-but-regular steps.

Keep looking ahead, work together. Know what's coming. plan how it's going to be tackled (and who will be tackling it), and then... get it done. Avoid procrastinating- it is MUCH harder for a group to "catch up" after falling behind than it is to just regularly stay on top of things.


Keep it FUN!

There WILL be bumps in the road, and of course not every moment of the process will be without stress. Nonetheless, keep everything in perspective, support each other, work through challenges, and set a great tone for your group. Songfest is very special, and the FUN is something your whole group will remember forever.

Further Resources

Songest is produced through Student Activities at Pepperdine University.