SING Expands Across the City

bertha tillis
Mrs. Bella Lipson Tillis started the first ever SING.

By Isabel Perez ‘17 and Jillian Geist ‘17

SING has been a part of Midwood for generations and never seems to fail to please the crowd. It originally started in Midwood, and next year it will celebrate its 70th anniversary. Now it’s time for more schools to begin their own SING productions.

SING was founded in 1947 by Mrs. Bella Lipson Tillis, music teacher, who wanted students to come together and put on a show. SING became such a success that the 1989 movie Sing! was influenced on the work of Mrs. Tillis. Over the years, schools across New York City have created their own twist on SING.

“I think that’s awesome because people get to express themselves and be a part of a club, and overall SING is a fun experience so more schools and students should be able to participate in it,” said Deanna Andreyev ‘17.

Public high schools throughout NYC such as Edward R. Murrow, James Madison, Leon M. Goldstein, Susan E. Wagner, Staten Island Technical, and Tottenville participated in SING. These schools have adapted SING to their environment and preference, they don’t necessarily have to mirror Midwood’s SING.

Last year, a generous donation was given to New York City public schools by Taylor Swift, singer-songwriter. Devora Kaye, spokesperson from the Department of Education, told the New York Times that the donation of $50,000 will go towards SING.

Dr. Ernest Pysher, assistant principal for music and arts, has been given the opportunity to help ten schools across New York City to start SING. According to Dr. Pysher, he will visit each of the schools three times this spring and constantly email them. He has already read their scripts and suggested ideas. The schools are Bayside, Martin Van Buren, Flushing, Thomas A. Edison, William H. Maxwell, John Bowne, Celia Cruz, Frederick Douglass, High School of Fashion, and Park Slope Collegiate. The Department of Education chose these schools because of their applications for the grant.

The New York City School Chancellor, Carmen Fariña, thinks SING is the best way to build school spirit. Mrs. Fariña’s oldest daughter participated in SING at Midwood, and her other daughter participated in SING at Murrow.

Dr. Pysher said, “I want to spread SING because there are more students involved in SING than in our advanced music or theater groups. I hope that will happen in these ten schools,” he added, “I want SING to be an educational experience where students learn how to create theater.”

Corral Russo ‘17 said, “I think that Dr. Pysher spreading SING is a great thing because I think SING is a unique club and it’s a high school experience like no other. No matter if you’re freshman or a senior, you’ll always make new friends in SING. It’s a club where students who have common qualities can come together to create a production.

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