Lights, camera ... show design, scripts, musical arrangements, choreography, tour plans, budgets, publicity and promotion, costumes, set, library maintenance ... action!

Out of breath? Welcome to the world of Ball State University Singers. Assistant company manager Lauren Mazur, ’12, LaPorte, Indiana, helps run the entire operation. “I’m all over the board,” says Mazur, a psychology major.

Mazur’s involvement and leadership has grown from being a singer and dancer in University Singers’ Glee Club, to show production head, to her current role. Next year, she plans to be the company manager. She’s learned how intense it can be behind the scenes, where agility is a requirement.

“It can be a little overwhelming, but it gives you an appreciation for the art of performing,” Mazur says.

Mazur has been at the forefront of the recent successes of University Singers. Representing all seven of Ball State’s academic colleges, the diverse group is Indiana’s official goodwill ambassadors, chosen for its positive message and extensive touring of the state and nation. Mazur counts it an honor to represent the university and the state.

Recently, Mazur had an unforgettable experience—competing to be 2010’s best show choir in the nation. University Singers submitted a video from a live performance at Late Nite at Ball State to apply for the award. Featured on NBC’s Today, the choir was a finalist, ranking in the top four. Mazur suddenly became the spokesperson for the group when she was interviewed by coanchor Kathie Lee Gifford.

“I knew what types of questions she might ask, but nothing really prepares you for an interview on national television with Kathie Lee!” Mazur says. “After watching the video later, I was very proud of the way I answered the questions.”

After her answer, Gifford was impressed by her personality and said on national television that she should run for Miss America.

“I was very honored when Kathie Lee said I should run for Miss America,” Mazur says. “The funny thing is, I had considered participating in the Miss Ball State pageant so I felt that her timing was spot-on.”

Although it takes much practice, preparation, and planning to reach this level of achievement, Mazur says, the overall goal is to provide a good show for the audience.

“Somehow it all comes together because of one thing,” she says. “That one thing is that passion for performing and being up there on stage.”

Want to join the cast? Auditions and interviews are held each spring. Or find out how to catch a performance.