• Lib dub

    June 4, 2024

    USCHS produces third lip dub

    Lip dubWatch the 2024 Lib Dub

    Senioritis – a decline in motivation or performance – typically sets in at the start of the second semester of senior year. For Upper St. Clair High School seniors, the concept seems like a misnomer. At 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 30, one of the final days of the school year, seniors as well as underclassmen were bursting with anxious energy as filming for the school’s lip dub was about to begin.

    Leading this year’s USCHS lip dub were seniors Greg Boughner and Ethan Jooste with behind-the-scenes assistance from Dan Seewald. Luke McDonough was the videographer and several other seniors gave up their lunch times to help plan. Brooke Tarcson, head of student activities and student council sponsor, serves as adviser.

    This marked Upper St. Clair’s third lip dub. The first debuted in 2017 to kick-off the school’s Mini-THON. In 2022, senior student council members led the school’s second lip dub.

    “We wanted to make the lip dub a tradition every two years so that all students have a chance to become a leader of a club and, therefore, a featured singer,” Ethan said. “With our positions in student council, we felt we had the platform to produce the lip dub. Seeing the faces of the featured singers in previous years inspired us to give our own class an opportunity to have their own lip dub.”

    A lip dub is a music video that features individuals lip-syncing to several song mashups. The film crew travels throughout the building, capturing the video in a single take.

    “For the lip dub to look as great as we had planned, every little thing needed to be near perfect, as there is a very little margin for error,” Greg said. “Every song segment, every different walking speed, and every camera movement had to be meticulously planned out and tested multiple times over in the weeks leading up to May 30th.”

    At Upper St. Clair, all clubs and sports teams as well as individual students and teachers had the opportunity to participate.

    Lib dub“The most rewarding aspect of the lip dub was producing a video that all current students can be part of and look back at for years to come,” Ethan said. “We both wanted to be part of a committee that continues a fun tradition in Upper St. Clair.”

    For Greg, seeing the entire student body celebrating on the stadium field at the end of the lip dub was something special.

    “To see something that I had only seen in my imagination come into real life at that scale was incredible,” he said. “Though, I think the most rewarding aspect will be realized in years to come, as we grow older, and we remember our high school years as being fun and exciting, in due part by watching the lip dub.”

    The timing of this year’s lip dub presented additional logistical challenges. Planning and filming coincided with AP/IB testing. Between the two of them, Greg and Ethan took 10 AP/IB tests, which, along with lip dub planning, was a lot to juggle.

    “We had a lot of challenges this time around, other than the normal getting 1,200 people through the school and to the stadium,” Mrs. Tarcson said. “We had AP testing that stopped all announcements over the loudspeakers. We had to practice the route with headphones to keep the noise down.”

    In addition, the annual Kids Helping Kids (KHK) pickleball tournament was scheduled for the same day that filming was taking place.  

    “The day we filmed was also the first day of our annual pickleball tournament, which is a big deal at USCHS,” Mrs. Tarcson said. “We worked with KHK and Mr. Robbins, the physical education teacher that runs the bracket, to adjust the tournament so the lip dub would fit.”

    This year, the final scene of the lip dub was shot in the stadium. Typically, this would not be an issue; however, construction crews are currently working on the roof of the gymnasium, adjacent to the stadium.

    Lip dub“Did I mention there is a huge crane in our stadium right now, with workers fixing the roof of the gym?” Mrs. Tarcson said. “We had to work with our facilities director and the foreman of the roofing project to get clearance to run the route out the gym doors.”

    Successfully producing a lip dub takes an enormous level of cooperation and collaboration between and among students as well as faculty and staff members.

    “Upper St. Clair is the greatest place to work and plan fun things. Everyone - and I mean everyone was on board,” Mrs. Tarcson said. “Our counseling staff worked closely with us to move test times and locations around so we could proceed. Our custodial staff had the best attitude and helped us get ready by moving tables and chairs along the route, and provided clean up afterward. Our school police officers were totally on board and helped keep the school safe while also providing us with walkie-talkies, since we couldn't make announcements over the loudspeaker. Our teachers were rockstars! They got every homeroom where they needed to be and followed them to the end point with a smile on their faces! Our administrators are one of a kind. They trust our kids, and they are great at getting behind ideas instead of getting in front of them.”

    Despite all the challenges, or perhaps because of, this year’s lip dub was a great success.

    “There is no better feeling than watching the entire school together on the field throwing their hands up in a U,” Mrs. Tarcson said. “I get emotional at the end of every lip dub, but this one was particularly special because of the Class of 2024. They are a special class with a really positive attitude.”  

    The 2024 lip dub debuted to the senior class during graduation practice on Monday, June 3. It will be shown to the incoming freshmen during their move-up day on Wednesday, June 5.

    Watch the 2024 Lib Dub