Since 1937, UT students have been brought together by song, dance and philanthropy for Songfest.
This year, student organizations will compete to raise money for Veterans Matter under the theme: “Billboard Hits: No Time Like the Present.”
Veterans Matter was founded in 2012 and is a rapid-response system partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Homeless Veterans program to allow homeless veterans to find housing. Money raised helps cover the deposit or first month’s rent so veterans can move in quickly. Today, Veterans Matter operates in 16 states as well as Washington, D.C.
“We chose Veterans Matter this year because the members of both Mortar Board and Blue Key see the need for our local homeless veterans,” said Tayler Bowen, emcee for Songfest. “We decided there was a need to give back to those who gave so much for us.”
This year’s Songfest theme gives participants the opportunity to choose songs that were produced within the past decade.
“In the past, the theme has historically been based around older songs that were produced 10-plus years ago,” Bowen said. “We looked to get the organizations and community excited by only selecting songs from the past 10 years. We think this is a really fun change of pace for everyone and will keep everyone excited.”
Songfest will have 21 groups participating, and organizers hope to raise $25,000 for Veterans Matter.
Many hours of practice go into the weeks and months leading up to Songfest, and the performances that result have led to the event becoming one of the most highly anticipated of spring semester.
In addition to the musical numbers, Blue Key National Honor Fraternity and Mortar Board National Honor Society, the Songfest sponsors, hold their recognition and tapping ceremonies during the event.
“We look forward to sharing our beloved tradition with all students, faculty and staff, alumni and the rest of the Toledo community,” Bowen said. “People should be there to see the event come together and all of the hard work that the organizations have put into their performances.”
Donations will be collected at the event, or go to veteransmatter.org/utsongfest.