The end of March marks the beginning of the highly-anticipated NC/DC competition between Northwestern College and Dordt College. Around since 2003, this annual event features singing, unique performances and friendly competition that bring the two rival schools together.
New to NC/DC this year are a few changes were created to promote fairness among both schools and efficiency throughout the competition.
“Dordt has a larger student body and has historically had more attendees than NW at finals, giving Dordt students a competitive advantage,” said Aaron Beadner, director of student programs and first-year experience.
“Dordt has won six out of the last seven years. We believe splitting votes among six finalists and having the judges vote helps to brings parity among performers so that the best group regardless of school has the greatest chance to win,” he said.
An important change for NW performers involves the voting process. In years past, judges only provided feedback. This year’s competition, however, will feature a judge’s vote that will account for 25 votes towards the total tally for each judge’s chosen finalist. Based on last year’s 741 student votes, the judges’ vote is currently weighted at approximately 10% of the total vote count.
The NC/DC coordinators are hoping this change will improve NW’s chances at winning the competition, as the last NW student to win was Abbey Slattery in 2015.
An additional change involves the number of performers at the semifinal and final rounds. In the past, only five groups performed at the semifinals. This year, the round will feature six groups.
At the final performance, three finalists from each school will perform instead of the usual two. These finalists will be pre-announced and will only perform two songs in an effort to shorten the evening and increase student engagement.
Additionaly, non-finalists will no longer perform during the final round. This will reduce the performances from the previous fourteen to twelve.
“Students seemed to be disengaged during the final voting period where non-finalists were performing songs,” Aaron Beadner said. The coordinators of NC/DC are hoping that only featuring the finalists will prevent this.
Though the event brings many changes, there are some things that remain the same. As in the past, this year’s competition will consist of three rounds.
The first round will take place at 9 p.m. on Monday, April 9 in Christ Chapel. This preliminary round will consist of 10 to 12 groups of NW students. After a period of voting, six groups will move on to the semifinals.
The semifinals will take place at 9 p.m.on Thursday, April 14 in Christ Chapel. This time, the top six groups from Dordt will join the top six groups from NW on stage. Following a voting period, three groups from each school will move on to the finals.
The final round will take place at 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 21 in the BJ Haan Auditorium at Dordt College. After the voting period, one winner will be awarded a prize of $500.
All students are highly encouraged to attend the NC/DC performances, not only to support their school, but also because the event features some highly entertaining groups.
Auditions for NC/DC will be held from 8-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday March 26 and 27 in NW’s choir room.