Every spring, each class of sixty to seventy girls and are lead in twenty-something practices after and during school by an elected leader. The leader and committees teach the girls songs and motions that talk about their unique high school experience to the tunes of popular songs. One Friday in the middle of March, the classes will compete against each other at the Mosque/Landmark/Altria stage in front of each other, their teachers, families and friends, boys from the brother school, and most importantly, the judges. Each class will hide their year with their two class colors that they chose in their freshman year. That school week was spirit week, each day to dress up in the different colors, and decorate their hall in their colors and theme; Friday was a tag day to dress up according to their theme/colors. This is Saint Gertrude High School’s Song Contest.
My class is know as the class of Silver and Blue. We placed second as sophomores and won as juniors and seniors. Here we are before our junior year performance.
Let’s be honest here, Saint Gertrude is a cult, and Song Contest is the cultist activity. When you meet a fellow Gertie the first question you ask them is “What were your class colors?” followed by “Did you ever win?”. Current students have seen at least the last six Contests and know all the past songs as well as their current ones. Past students still break out in Song Contest lyrics at weddings, special events, or public (at lot in public), and always talk themselves up, “We should’ve won!” or “We were the best!”.
Song Contest is the ultimate class bonding experience. Everyone wants to kill each other, half of practice is yelling at each other, there’s more gossip and drama in the two and half months of Song Contest season then the rest of the school year, but when you get to the end of it, each class works together to create a beautiful performance. By the day of, we’re stressed, hungry, sleep deprived, but so excited because all of our handwork is about to pay off. We have committees for the parade, motions, hallways decorations, spirit, and harmony, so there’s always someway for anyone to contribute.
Last year our theme was Silver & Blue: Gettin’ Jiggy With It and it’s probably my favorite. Our hallways were decorated in 90’s Spice Girls posters with moderators faces photoshopped on, the cars in the parade had giant snapbacks and boom boxes, and we came to school in overalls with crimped hair. We did our own version of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” and ended it with ABBA’s “Waterloo”, which is kinda interesting, since we did at least one ABBA song each year.
I’m so excited to go back to Song Contest tomorrow night. Even though I’ll be wearing Pink and Gold for my lil sis’s class, I’m rooting for Red and White, Black and Lime, and Blue and Orange. I can’t wait to hear your songs and see what kind of stellar motions you create.
Blue and Orange, you’re going to have the time of your life, and don’t be nervous or scared to mess up. You’re just freshman and that’s the time to make mistakes. Red and White, I hope your final song contest is as memorable as ours was. It’s your last chance, so knock them dead. Black and Lime and Pink and Gold, rock on ladies! I have your back. I miss competing so much, not sitting in class seating is going to be so weird, at least I’ll be on stage to sing the Alma Mater with the other alumnae. Good luck to everyone, I can’t wait to see you tomorrow!
Silver and Blue’s final performance, March 2013