(LUBBOCK, TX) In this fall’s auditions for LCU’s 2020 Master Follies production, most participants were excited for the possibility to show their talents. Now, however, there is frustration among many students with the finalized list of hosts and hostesses, because of the perception that members of Best Friends, LCU’s a cappella ensemble, have an unfair advantage in auditions.
In response to the finalized list, Master Follies attendee and LCU student Chantz Cochran feels as though Master Follies has become another Best Friends concert.
“The audience is pretty much paying to see a glorified Best Friends concert featuring the social clubs,” he said. “If I want to see Best Friends, I will go to a Best Friends chapel or a Best Friends concert. I want to see what other students on this campus can do vocally because I know there are other students just as talented.”
Sourced from LCU yearbooks, over the past 10 years 52% of Master Follies hosts and hostesses were in Best Friends. Also, 37% of hosts and hostesses had already been a host or hostess in a previous year.
Current Master Follies Director and Director of Choral Activities Dr. Philip Camp affirms that, if Best Friends members have an advantage, it is only due to their experience.
“It’s a coincidence, but there is a connection because the students in Best Friends naturally, no doubt, have an advantage when they are auditioning … all year long, they sing in front of people. They sing on microphone, so they have mic technique and they have an overall comfort level with performing,” he said.
In response to being asked if experience with Best Friends is a requirement, he responded, “They certainly have some good experience that helps them, but that is absolutely not a requirement.”
A student who auditioned feels that Best Friend members are almost a natural choice for host and hostess selection due to their experience as a group.
“When you have a majority of Best Friends coming to audition, and you have a show that you want to blend, sound good and be comfortable on stage together, it is almost natural for Best Friends to be picked because that is what they have already been doing for months.” this person said, who chose to remain anonymous.
Former 2019 Master Follies host Kendon Stark believes that a trend is present, but limitations may hinder the outcome of auditions.
“If Best Friends were prohibited from auditioning, we wouldn’t have any tenors,” he said. “But I do agree that it’s fair to put in place limitations of being a host once or twice, maybe even every other year, so that the spotlight is evenly shared to those who are deserving but do not get that chance.”
Professor of Communications and Master Follies Producer Shawn Hughes expressed his concern with placing limitations on who could be selected.
“I wouldn’t want to make any decision that hampers our goal of achieving quality. I don’t know if it’s possible we could improve the quality of the show if we did that,” he said. “We are very concerned with the feelings of everyone that auditions and we are highly cognizant of the courage that it takes … I want to do anything and everything we can to applaud the efforts of those who are courageous enough to stand up and do it.”
Professor of Music Dr. Laurie Doyle, who is a former Master Follies director and current Chair of Communication/Fine Arts, explained that the rumor is untrue of limitations being used in the past.
“Every director does it differently,” she said. “I would like to see as many people as possible get to experience being a host or hostess because it is great fun.”
Master Follies 2020 will be during homecoming week, Feb. 6-9. For the latest information on the show and ticket sales, go to https://lcu.edu/events/master-follies-and-homecoming/.