Mock Rock keeps rockin’ after a decade

Five men walked onto the front of the stage as the opening of ‘Bye Bye Bye’ by N’SYNC blares from the speakers. A crowd of girls swarms the stage screaming, reaching for their hands with excitement as their preteen dream of seeing their favorite boy band is finally realized.

Last years’ mock rock was saved and brought us “N’SYN,” and on Saturday, Nov. 22, John Brown University Student Events and Activities will be hosting its 10th Annual production of Mock Rock, a lip-syncing show and competition.

This tradition gives students the opportunity to lip-sync on stage to a song of their choice, either individually or with a group. Performers must go through an audition process in order to deem their renditions appropriate and fitting to the event.

Danielle Keller, coordinator of orientation, brought Mock Rock to JBU as a student in 2005. She shared the idea from Biola University, where she had gone to school for 2 years.

According to Keller, prior to Mock Rock’s introduction, a lip-sync show was held in J. Alvin dormitory in the nineties.

Over the years, the competition has evolved in many ways.

“The first year, we had judges give live feedback to the acts,” Keller said. “It didn’t go so well because some student judges were too harsh.”

Keller said that in its early years, Mock Rock featured a lot of random props and minimal choreography. She believes one of the biggest developments over the nine years has been with the audio and visual advancements.

“The stage was lit with one basic set-up and there were no backdrops,” she said.

“Over the years, students have increased their precision with their acts and their choreography is more elaborate, costumes more extravagant and overall, it’s just better.”

The acts performed tend to reflect song or themes that are popular at the time.

“Students have gone through phases of “Glee” inspired mash-ups, classic rock concerts and Broadway musical numbers,” Keller said.

Last year, various students and faculty members performed to Miley Cyrus’s then-popular song “Wrecking Ball,” where they humorously portrayed the renovations happening to J. Alvin at the time.

Keller sees the tradition as a source for community building.

“It helps define the culture on this campus,” Keller said. “These events give students an outlet to express themselves in a fun and unique way. Students have the opportunity to show their talents such as choreography, dancing, mixing music, building props, humor, creativity and much more.“

JBU graduate Shelby Delay said Mock Rock is an event she believes students should appreciate more.

“People are always saying there’s ‘nothing to do’ on campus, but if they took advantage of the time and planning that goes into campus events, they’d realize there is plenty for them to do,” Delay said.

“Even if you’re not in an act, you should without a doubt go.”

The competition will be held in the Cathedral of the Ozarks. The doors will open at 8 p.m. There will be a $2 entry fee for all who attend.

Keller believes that students today often believe the most elaborate acts will end up winning.

“While that can be true, sometimes – more often than one would think – the most simple of acts can and will win.”

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