Since 1932, Indiana University has held the annual production known as IU Sing. This mass production is put on by student organizations in order to entertain the community and raise money for scholarships. The show is a musical competition starring residence halls, fraternities and sororities--all of whom have created their performance from scratch, with no professional help.
IU Sing originated in the 1920s, when Hoagy Carmichael spearheaded a musical-drama competition as a tribute to the graduating senior class. This was the first musical contest involving the different housing units on IU's campus.
1928, Professor George E. Schlafer put his spin on Carmichael's "baby" by organizing a production he named the "Hail to Old IU." Like Carmichael's production, "Hail to Old IU" was also used as a send-off to the senior class during commencement week. Schlafer invited all in attendance to take part in a sing-along. The winning prize was awarded to the act which most exemplified Spirit of IU Sing. A few years later, the show became big enough to be put in the Auditorium where it eventually, split into two nights.
The Spirit of IU Sing is still alive today in all the student housing organizations. Every year Song Leaders and participants devote countless hours of scripting and choreography towards this Feburary event.
- http://iusf.bloomington.com/ (IU Sing sponsor organization)