Justin McIlwee / Daily News Record
November 30, 2017
Flip over to Spike TV and you can watch Queen Latifah and Marlon Wayans battle. Or Mike Tyson and Terry Crews unleash their inner rock stars in a knock down, drag out, winner-take-all challenge.
No, it’s not a fight. It’s a lip sync battle — a phenomenon brought into the mainstream media and made popular by drag queen contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race and late night host Jimmy Fallon.
Lip syncing is when a person matches a singer’s words and mouth movements without making a sound themselves. It can be done with any type of music and can involve theatrics, dancing and any other shenanigans the lip syncer brings to the table.
To piggyback on this popular practice, Any Given Child in Harrisonburg is set to host its third annual Lip Sync Battle: Battle in the Burg on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. at Court Square Theater.
“Battle in the Burg came as an idea [because] we were trying to find a great way to raise funds and make it affordable for people to come out to a fundraising event,” said J.R. Snow, director of Any Given Child Harrisonburg. “We put it into play three years ago. We had our first rounds, and so we hope to have a great night.”
Snow said the idea of the battle came to him one night while he was just watching TV.
“[The idea] came at the beach, on vacation,” he said. “I was flipping through channels and came across the show on television. Sometimes, when you’re at your most relaxed state, you’re also the most creative. And so I just said, ‘I wonder if we could present something like this?’”
Last year’s benefit was able to raise over $18,000 for Any Given Child, which is an organization that works to ensure artistic equality and access to kids in prekindergarten to eighth grade in Harrisonburg City Public Schools. The organization is a partnership with the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C.
Maggie Hagy, one of the contestants in this year’s competition and a music teacher at W.H. Keister Elementary School, explained the importance of having an organization like Any Given Child reside in Harrisonburg.
“Our students are able to see the power of the arts for expression and creation,” she said. “When they are able to see a professional group and work alongside them to create a piece of artwork, musical performance, dance performance or theater performance, then they feel empowered to create themselves. It is inspiring to see where you can go in the future if you keep arts alive in your classroom and in your life, and Any Given Child provides that opportunity.”
Snow said he expects this year’s performance to sell out, just like previous years. He said the community support for the event has been tremendous and that it’s extremely important to be able to keep raising money for such a worthy cause.
“It’s vital because as a newer organization and a partnership, we obviously want to get our name out,” he said. “The great thing about local money and local partnerships is that all of our money stays right here. Every dollar that we raise in an event like this goes directly to programming for students. Without that, students aren’t going to get that extra opportunity. Really, the program that we provide, focuses on allowing students to find their own identity as a creative artist.”
Tickets to the event are $25 and can be purchased online.
Contact Justin McIlwee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-6265