March 28, 2022
USCHS releases 2022 Lip Dub
It’s 8:20 a.m. on Friday, March 25. The halls of Upper St. Clair High School are filled with students. Most are dressed in their sports jerseys and club t-shirts – many with sunglasses and feather boas – holding balloons and signs. The energy and excitement are unmatched. Students with portable radios in-hand are signaling that take two is ready to go. The brief silence is replaced by music and the film crew begins its 15-minute trek winding through the hallways. The 2022 Upper St. Clair High School Lip Dub is underway.
This marked the school’s second lip dub experience. The first video was filmed in 2017 as part of the USC MiniTHON effort. Both videos were student-led productions with guidance provided by Brooke Tarcson, head of activities and student council advisor.
“It’s been long overdue that our school filmed another lip dub since our first in 2017. This was the perfect year to do so because we have a strong student council and excitement for school events are through the roof after COVID's event cancellations,” senior RJ Shontz, student council president, said. “Our high school is back and this video captured our excitement for that.”
In addition to RJ, this year’s student organizers included senior George Atencio and junior Colin Eccher.
“My focus was on the logistics, Colin edited the soundtrack and video, and George filmed the actual lip dub,” RJ said. “It is also important to note Mrs. Tarcson's vital role because she had the experience of planning the 2017 Lip Dub and that helped guide our team.”
Throughout the lip dub, students representing the high school’s clubs, activities and athletic teams lip sync to a medley of different songs while traveling throughout the entire school. Shot in one take, the video begins at the school’s front entrance and ends in the large gymnasium with the entire 1,300 student body.
“This has been a wonderful and exciting process to watch – students and staff working together toward a common goal,” Mrs. Tarcson said. “It really is a statement of unity from the entire school.”
The district’s values of unity, success and character (USC) are boldly displayed throughout the school in vinyl lettering. Dr. Timothy Wagner, Upper St. Clair High School principal, sees the connection between those written words and his students’ actions.
“I'm very proud of our students and staff. The Lib Dub tangibly shares the value USCHS places on unity,” Dr. Wagner said. “Everyone has stuck together these past years. In a way, this year's lib dub is also a celebration of all the good that is to come.”
For the student organizers, the biggest challenge in planning the lip dub was managing every minute detail.
“Our plan had to work perfectly for all 1,300+ students and staff members,” George said. “Some examples of this were the route, group's locations, and how everyone got back to the gym without interfering with the rest of the lip dub.”
Filmed on Friday, March 25, the 15-minute-long video debuted the following evening during the school’s Sadie Hawkins dance.
“The most rewarding aspect of the lip dub is seeing our entire school working together,” Colin said. “The lip dub premiered at our Sadie's dance and it was unreal hearing everyone's reactions to the video. At the start of every group's segment, the crowd went crazy!”
The lip dub proved to be a valuable learning experience in teamwork, planning, coordination and communication. The USCHS team has advice for other schools embarking on their own school-wide effort.
“Our advice for other schools wanting to take on this challenge is to have a dedicated planning team,” Colin said. “They need to think through the plan from different angles, effectively communicate the plan to the entire school, and practice filming the lip dub multiple times before the actual event.”
Coordinating a video that includes more than 1,300 individuals was no easy feat. The students appreciate the support and encouragement they received from the school’s administration, teachers and building staff.
“We are grateful for the level of coordination we experienced from the high school's many stakeholders. We couldn't have done this without the support from our activities office, administration, custodial team, and security team,” RJ said. “We want to thank every student and staff member for participating in this lip dub. It would not have worked without the entire school being on board.”
Watch the videos