When All-Sing was first created under the moniker "Song-Fest" in 1932, competing students had to learn and perform UT's alma mater, along with another musical piece of their choice. The event also included a band and fiddle competition.
Although the name was changed to All-Sing in the 1940s and the musical selection might be different from its beginning years, the original concept of the competition remains the same: support the university while showing off musical talent.
This year's All-Sing is comprised of 21 organizations on 12 teams. These organizations can choose to form a team with another organization or participate as a single group, and the mixed and solo groups compete separately for the title of All-Sing champ.
The event's five judges make their decision based on basic musicality as well as overall performance aesthetic, according to Kerri Moore, a member of the All Campus Events committee sponsoring the event.
"This is a huge campus tradition," Moore, senior in supply chain management, said. "It's been going on in some form or another since 1932."
The groups, who have been practicing for months in anticipation of the event, will perform an eight-minute choral routine with a musical theme. Previous themes have ranged from "Wicked" to "Little Shop of Horrors" and everything in between.
"They get all done up in costumes, and they learn the parts," Moore said. "Most of them have live music, so they sing along to that. They get really involved."
For students like Nancy June Inman, sophomore in mathematics, All-Sing has been a way for her to continue a passionate hobby from high school.
"I did show choir in high school and miss it dearly, so this was the perfect opportunity to get to perform again," Inman said. "Practices are full of energy and work. We also get to socialize and be goofy along the way.
"They do wear you out, but it is so worth it in the end."
Participants also use All-Sing as a way to show support for their campus organizations.
"I am really excited because I've heard that it's a great way to support my sorority," Courtney Henderson, a senoir in psychology, said, "and there are going to be lots of wonderful acts this year."
Inman said All-Sing has given participants a way to form friendships with other organizations.5
"I feel that I get new friendships from other organizations and get to have that feeling of a day complete when it ends with a song," Inman said.
This year's All-Sing, Moore said, is going to bring that same intensity it has been bringing for the past 82 years.
"We have lots of different groups going," Moore said. "You really, really want to come see it."
All-Sing begins at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Cox Auditorium of the Alumni Memorial Building. Tickets are $10 for students who bring their VolCard and can be bought at the door, the UC ticket office or on KnoxvilleTickets.com.