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For the 2001 documentary film, see Sing!.

SING! is an annual student-run musical production put on by some high schools in the Greater New York City area. It is a theater competition between the various grades, with the setup between grades differing from school to school (such as sophomore-freshman vs. seniors vs. juniors, senior-sophomore vs. junior-freshman or freshman-senior vs. sophomore-junior).

SING! was conceived by Bella Tillis, a music teacher at Midwood High School in Brooklyn, New York in 1947.[1] [2]

A Library of Congress archive of the papers of entertainer Danny Kaye, who went to High School with Tillis,[3] contains playbills of SING! performances at Midwood High School from the years 1953-1957.[4]

The 1989 film adaptation Sing is based on the SING! traditions. According to The New York Times review of the movie, the film's production notes say that Paul Simon, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Carole King and Neil Sedaka, who attended various Brooklyn and Queens high schools in the mid to late 1950s, took part in SING! productions.[5]Other SING! celebrities include Stuyvesant High School's Tim Robbins and Paul Reiser.[6]

Schools with SING! productions as of 2006[edit]

  • Benjamin N. Cardozo High School: Production held in March[citation needed]
  • Bronx High School of Science: Productions cancelled in 1994,[7] but reinstated for 2012.[8]
  • Brooklyn Technical High School: Production held annually. Freshmen and Sophomores team up as Freshmores to go up against Juniors against Seniors.[citation needed]
  • Forest Hills High School: Productions in mid-1950s, based on Paul Simon's age, and is still being produced as of 2006: "Each December, the students show off their singing, dancing and dramatic talents in Sing, an all student run original production in which the freshman/sophomores, juniors, and seniors compete for victory."[9]
  • Francis Lewis High School: Production held annually. SING! returned in November 2011. Production held in February 2012. Freshmen and Sophomores teamed up as Sophmen to go against Juniors against Seniors. In the first year, Seniors took 1st place with their "End of the World" performance.
  • The Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences: According to New York Magazine, "[Goldstein] is one of the last schools in the city to continue the tradition of the December "Sing" music-and-dance performance, in which virtually every student in the school participates. Seniors are paired with freshmen, sophomores with juniors."[10]
  • Townsend Harris High School: Production held in 2006.[11]
  • Long Island City High School: Producing its first SING! competition in December 2012.
  • James Madison High School: Productions, including Carole King (nee Carole Klein, class of 1958) and Janis Siegel (The Manhattan Transfer), known to have occurred in the 1950s/1960s, respectively. Senior/Soph vs Junior/Fresh. Production held in 2008.[12]
  • Gaynor McCown/CSI High School had their first SING production on January 22, 2010. It was a "Sophmen" SING! Their first competing SING! was in the following year with Junior SING! verses Sophmen SING! Their first full SING! was in December of 2011 with Senior/Freshmen SING! against Junior/Sophomore (Juni-more).[citation needed]
  • Midwood High School: still being produced as of 2012 each December.[13]
  • Edward R. Murrow High School: "Students also produce Sing, where freshmen and seniors compete against sophomores and juniors".[14]
  • New Dorp High School: Production held every November or December. Juniors and Freshman team up as Junior Fresh. Seniors and Sophomores team up as Senior Soph.[citation needed]
  • New Utrecht High School: Production in 1983, other years unverified, productions stopped ca. 1987 but were reinstated in 2007.[citation needed]
  • Michael J. Petrides School: Productions were reinstated in 2004 after a brief hiatus, and have been held annually since then. The composition of teams varies from year to year; either Freshman/Junior versus Sophomore/Senior or Freshman/Senior versus Sophomore/Junior.[citation needed]
  • Port Richmond High School: Production held in 2005.[15]
  • Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School: Only high school outside the five boroughs of New York City known to have a SING! production. All four grades compete separately. Production held in 2010.[16]
  • Staten Island Technical High School: Started in the fall 2002. Productions held every fall since, usually the week before Thanksgiving. Juniors and Seniors always lead a team, alternating between JSV (Junior-Sophomore Victory) Vs. SFV (Senior-Freshmen Victory), and JFV (Junior-Freshmen Victory) Vs. SSV (Senior-Sophomore Victory). Last SING! production was held on November 21st, 22nd, and 23rd 2013 with JSV performing "Across the Board" Vs. SFV performing "Circus Twerkus".[17]
  • Stuyvesant High School: Started in 1973, replacing the Student-Faculty Show, and has run continuously since then. The first Stuyvesant SING! included Tim Robbins and Paul Reiser, both students at the time.[18]
  • Tottenville High School: Started in 1975 and still running. Latest production held on November 16, 2013.[19]
  • Susan E. Wagner High School: Started in 1974, and is still being produced. The 38th competition was held in November 2010. Freshmen pair with sophomores in "Sophmen" production, against Juniors and Seniors who each have their own show. Production is generally the week of Veterans' Day in November.[20]
  • Townsend Harris High School: Production held in 2012.[21]

Schools with SING! production status unknown as of 2006[edit]

Schools no longer doing SING! productions as of 2006[edit]

SING! is run by students[edit]

SING! is run by the students, except for the faculty advisors. The SING! faculty members select talented individuals who are experienced or talented to run their SING! teams. SING! is organized like a professional show, with playwrights, producers, costume designers, a theatrical design team, a chorus, and a band, which are mostly chosen by the SING! faculty, although at some schools there is much less faculty involvement (Stuyvesant High School, for example, has the faculty choose student coordinators, who then are in charge of delegating responsibilities). In some schools, such as Susan E. Wagner High School, the students are able to vote in their own directors, so that way the students choose the people they want to run their show, rather than have faculty decide for the participants of SING!. The chorus is often large, as in some SING! shows, the leaders can't turn away chorus members.


Inter-SINGs are SING competitions held between different high schools and colleges. They have been held in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island. Susan Wagner High School won the first Staten Island competition in 2007 with their Junior production of "The JSV Circus", Staten Island Technical High School won in 2008 with their Senior-Sophomore production entitled "Carnicus," and Tottenville High School, who participated for the first time, won in 2009 with Senior Sing X's production of "Narneville," a very twisted fairy tale. [24]).


  1. ^ Butler, Clarisse (June 14, 2000). "A red violin and a gold statue: PSC member cops Oscar for movie score". New York Teacher (Latham, New York: New York State United Teachers). Archived from the original on May 26, 2005. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  2. ^ Anthony, George (February 19, 1989). "Sing! Sing! Sing!". Toronto Sun. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Originator of "Sing!," a NYC high school tradition, dies". Brooklyn Eagle. April 23, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  4. ^ "(Danny) Kaye and Sylvia Fine Collection". Dance Heritage Collection. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  5. ^ Maslin, Janet (March 31, 1989). "Review/Film; Harmonies in High School". The New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Sing". The Campaign for Stuyvesant. Retrieved June 9, 2010. 
  7. ^ Maneein, Earl (November 9, 2005). "Memories: Why SING was discontinued". Bronx High School of Science. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  8. ^ "School Calendar: February 2006". Bronx High School of Science. February 2006. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Forest Hills Student Resources". Forest Hills High School. 2006. Archived from the original on January 11, 2006. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Top Public High Schools: The Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences". New York. October 22, 2001. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  11. ^ "School Calendar, January 2006". Townsend Harris High School. 2006. Archived from the original on September 26, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  12. ^ "James Madision High School Weekly Calendar". James Madison High School. 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2009. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Fifty-Five Years Later, Midwood's SING! Still Going Strong". 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  14. ^ "About Edward R. Morrow High School". 2004. Archived from the original on December 11, 2004. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  15. ^ "Port Richmond High School". 2006. Archived from the original on February 7, 2006. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District Monthly Calendar-February". Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District. 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2010. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Upcoming events: November 2006". Staten Island Technical High School. 2006. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Sing". The Campaign for Stuyvesant. Retrieved June 9, 2010. 
  19. ^ Romeo, Louis; Michael Dellatte (September–October 2004). "SING 2005: A Friendly Competition". Tottenville High School Pirateer. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Susan E. Wagner High School". 2010. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Townsend Harris High School". 2012. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  22. ^ Gleeson, Rob (September 20, 2004). "Re: Class of 1980". Abraham Lincoln High School Web Forum. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  23. ^ "Annual Sing Competition". Sheepshead Bay High School Alumni Association. Archived from the original on 2009-08-04. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  24. ^ "Staten Island Tech wins Inter-SING". Staten Island Technical High School News feed. Retrieved December 10, 2008. 

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