From the "Ouachitonian": Wade WilsonDecember 22, 2021 - Anna Roussel
Previously published in the 2021 Ouachitonian yearbook
Wade Wilson, a Christian studies major from Springdale, was one of only two sophomores to be selected as a Tiger Tunes Rewind host. Prior to being selected, Wilson loved to sing and play guitar but did not have an outlet to do so. After seeing that sign-ups had opened for Tunes host, several friends encouraged him to take a chance. He decided to try out.
“If I didn’t make it, that was OK, and if I did make it, I got to be in Tiger Tunes,” Wilson said.
Wilson’s first taste of Ouachita was attending Tiger Tunes with his family because his parents are Ouachita alumni. He looks forward to Tunes every year. Tunes was also the first thing Wilson participated in on campus his freshman year, and it was where he met many of his close friends. For Wilson, Tunes is one of the first events that comes to mind when thinking of Ouachita.
“I really think it’s cool how Tunes is about students helping students and raising scholarships,” Wilson said. “I think that’s just such a unique thing that a lot of colleges don’t have ... all of the effort put into having students on campus who otherwise couldn’t be here.”
While being a Tiger Tunes host is a unique experience any year, this past year was especially different due to the challenges that COVID-19 presented. Despite the differences from years past, the campus rallied around the event and sought to make the most out of the odd situation. After making the switch to Tunes Rewind, the hosts’ and hostesses’ performance was moved to a completely virtual platform, using new recording and video techniques. While this was an adjustment, the online transition was not the most surprising part for Wilson.
“I didn’t expect to have as much fun as I did,” Wilson explained. “At first I thought about how I was about to spend half a semester singing the same songs over and over again, but honestly I looked forward to practice every night and got really excited about the show.”
When filming their sets, each one was shot multiple times from different angles, some songs being performed about 10 times. The hosts and hostesses were able to invite a couple of friends to come watch the recording process, which Wilson felt helped when they were able to hype them up and add energy to the atmosphere.
“It was a different feeling of nervousness because there was a camera and you knew there were thousands of people about to watch it, but they weren’t there in the moment,” Wilson said. “When I perform, I like to watch the audience and see how they react.”
Looking back on his experience as a host for Tunes Rewind, Wilson expressed how grateful he was that the school’s priority was the students’ health and safety. Along with this, he appreciated being on a campus that wanted the student body to have fun and still have a campus life despite the restrictions Ouachita was facing. While his Tunes Rewind experience was a different one, it was still meaningful and one he would look back on for years to come.
“Doing Tiger Tunes and everything along with it has made me really grateful for the school that I’m at, and that God placed me here,” Wilson said.
Photo by Abby Blankenship
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