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Songfest returns after a seven-year hiatus

After a seven-year hiatus, Songfest returned to the Bovard Auditorium with artists such as the Trojan Men performing Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls”. (Tara Mojtahedzadeh | Daily Trojan)

Trojan Pride triumphantly hosted Songfest for the first time since 2015 on Saturday at the Auditorium Bovard. One of USC’s oldest traditions, Songfest began in 1954 as a judged fundraiser where student performers showcased their diverse talents and competed against each other while raising proceeds for Troy Camp, a philanthropic organization run by students that offers mentorship to students in South Los Angeles.

Trojan Pride, USC’s official spiritual organization, has been working to bring back Songfest, last attempted in 2018. Logan Barth, the organization’s co-executive director, said he believes Songfest is important for morale. Trojans.

“A big part of Trojan Pride is, obviously, raising the Trojan spirit on campus…we’re doing this to raise the spirit on campus because USC traditions are a big part of life. student here,” said Barth, a freshman majoring in law, history, and culture. “Nurturing them is important to maintain the classic Trojan Horse experience that students come here for.”

The evening started with Trojan Marching Band performing classics such as “USC Fight Song” and popular songs like “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga.

After the marching band, male a cappella group The Trojan Men performed Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls.” The crooning vocals of their soloist Daniel Marable and the song’s meshing with the low tones of fellow soloist Sid Bajaj singing Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” were met with cheers from the audience from the opening note. .

“I really wanted to do something singing-related that was more low-pressure, I just wanted a medium, some sort of outlet to sing,” Trojan Men President Timothy Reilly said. “[Songfest] is an opportunity for guys to get together, sing the music they love, and have fun. It’s exciting to see all these groups on campus.

Next on stage were two US Comedians student performers, Jonathan Krone, a senior specializing in narrative studies, and Angelina Stroud, a senior specializing in journalism. Krone, an eponymous “alpha male”, made jokes about his experiences at USC.

The third act was Spade A Dance, an energetic K-pop dance cover group performing Red Velvet’s “Feel My Rhythm” and TREASURE’s “JIKJIN.”

The first song featured a beautiful performance with fairy costumes to match the light track, while the second reflected a more intense and darker song. Carol Li, co-director of Spade A Dance, said the dance group had fun performing on stage.

“We always love playing in an opportunity like this,” Li said. “It’s not about showing off, but we have a chance to do what we want to do and then we can share the joy with everyone. the world, not just our team members but also people who love K-pop and love to dance.” in general.”

The USC Magic Association then mesmerized the audience by performing a series of awe-inspiring magic tricks.

It was hard to say which was more surprising to the crowd: new member John Hemmer catching a card chosen by Songfest judge Patrick Corbin out of the air with chopsticks while blindfolded or the band correctly predicting that a member of the audience would choose “Avatar: The Last Airbender”. as their favorite show.

“I love how people react to magic,” said Tyler Gibgot, president of the USC Magic Association. “I just realized it’s a great way to bring people together. You know, no matter your age, race, gender, or background, I feel like magic is like a universal language, and that’s why I love it.

The harmonies of the next performance, Mariachi SC, filled the souls of the audience and lifted their spirits as they saw the musicians engulfed in the music.

The show then featured the Sirens, an a cappella group, who sang “Killing Me Softly With His Song” by Fugees and “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. During their performance of “Bang Bang”, three soloists matched the original singers, even performing the rap parts of the songs.

The only Doo-wop group on campus, the Trousdales, got their start, taking audiences back to the ’50s when Songfest was born. The show was concluded by the Belly Dance Club, which captivated the audience with their lively movements.

At the end of the show, Corbin, who judged the show, felt that Mariachi SC had the best performance. Spade A Dance was also voted winner of the Trojan Choice by members of the public.

“We were extremely pleased with how Songfest went,” Barth said. “It really prepared us to bring this event back, make it a tradition at USC and make sure it doesn’t go away. We thought the performers did an amazing job and the audience enjoyed themselves.

Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.