Boston College’s Emerging Leader Program (ELP), in concert with the Office of Governmental and Community Affairs, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, and the Robsham Theater Arts Center, is organizing the 13th annual “Sing It to the Heights” music competition, which will take place in Robsham Theater on March 2 at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the event will go to the St. Columbkille Partnership School, a Catholic elementary school in Brighton, Massachusetts. The event is spearheaded principally by the ELP leadership team and its student facilitators.
The event was originally known as BC Idol a number of years ago, and was held in the Stokes Chocolate Bar where three student groups would perform in a noncompetitive environment. Since its inception, the competition has rapidly grown in popularity whilst becoming the Emerging Leader Program’s flagship annual project in light of its rich partnership with St. Columbkille. The group raised nearly $10,000 in proceeds for the program last year.
The St. Columbkille Partnership School is the result of a collaboration between the St. Columbkille Parish, the Archdiocese of Boston, and Boston College. Each institution has combined its financial and educational resources to implement state-of-the-art approaches to teaching while linking students and families to resources that promote healthy development and mitigate barriers to learning.
Students from Boston College, along with members of the choir and select choir at St. Columbkille, will be performing at the event. A panel of three Jesuit judges will critique the performances and the winner will be selected by the audience.
Jon Robert Bagley, the Graduate Assistant for Leadership Development at the Office of Student Involvement, is a member of the ELP leadership team and is responsible for event logistics. He has worked in tandem with a number of students in the Emerging Leader Program’s Steering Committee, a group of student facilitators responsible for organizing the event and holding auditions for prospective competitors.
Bagley expressed the requirements of his role as rather holistic, but immensely rewarding. “In essence, I help organize everything from holding auditions for the event to booking rooms for competition, setting up cameras and microphones, and equipping students with what they need to perform.”
Commenting on the partnership with St. Columbkille, Bagley asserted that both Boston College and its partner have benefited from collaborating with one another.
“It’s beneficial for students [from St. Columbkille] to be in an environment that they can aspire to,” he said. “Many of the students that attend do not have the resources that Boston College students do, and it’s a pleasure to work with them and host them at ‘Sing It to the Heights’.”
Connor Hayman, MCAS ‘19, a student facilitator in the Emerging Leader Program, shed light upon the role of the Steering Committee in planning the event.
“Within ELP, I have been a part of the Steering Committee, whose members take on a much greater role in the production of the event. This includes running auditions, publicizing the event, and running the event itself,” he said.
The members of the Steering Committee are seminal in holding auditions, determining the ten student contestants for the event, and communicating with different on-campus organizations in the effort to publicize the event while increasing ticket sales.
“The whole goal of this event is to raise money for the [St. Columbkille] music program, meaning that every dollar we make from the event goes to St. Columbkille. Last year, we raised almost $10,000 for them, and this year we are hoping to raise even more!”
Vincent Butrico, MCAS ‘19, also a member of the Steering Committee, underscored the value of the relationships he forged with the students of St. Columbkille.
“I, with the other members of the Steering Committee, was in charge of putting on the show and making sure all the students of St. Columbkille were ready for their performances,” he said. “I was not able to actually watch the show last year, and was instead hanging out with the students in the Heights Room before they had to go on stage. This was a really awesome experience because I was able to connect with and get to know some of the students 'Sing it to the Heights' was helping.”
The ELP leadership team and its student facilitators emphasized that the experience thus far has been incredibly valuable. The competition has grown immensely popular among the student body, and St. Columbkille recently saw the inception of its own music program in light of the proceeds raised in recent years.
Tickets for the event will go on sale on Feb. 16 at 8 a.m. for $10. They can be purchased on-line or at the Robsham Theater box office.