Fight song contest spurs spirit
BY KELSEY WHEATON
The University of Mary Washington is adding a new chapter to its school history: the creation of an official University of Mary Washington fight song.
Since the school’s creation in 1908, there has never been an official fight song to accompany the school sports teams to various games, something that is often found with teams from other larger universities. Now, however, the University will be getting its own fight song, and students have an opportunity to help write it.
The song, currently called “Soar, Eagles, Soar!” is in the process of being composed by Paul Murtha, a world-class composer who also serves as the arranger of the United States Army Band. Murtha works closely with the music department, serving as the composer for the Philharmonic orchestra.
While the song’s notes and tune are set, the majority of the lyrics are missing. While the composing of the song’s main chant was left to a professional arranger, the remaining responsibility of penning the lyrics was given over to the student body. The creation of the lyrics has been opened up to the student body for creation. The winner of the contest, in addition to having their name attached to the song, will receive an iPad and a cash prize of $250. The contest asks for two verses that are “timeless, classy and easy to remember.” The deadline for lyrics is Friday, March 28.
Doug Searcy, the vice president of Student Affairs, says he hopes to keep the song as a lasting tradition at UMW.
Student reaction to the possibility of a fight song for the university is mixed. Some students see the creation of a fight song as an opportunity to boost school spirit amongst the student body and to show that a small school can be as spirited as a larger one.
“I think it could create some student unity,” said Keiera Lewis, a sophomore English major.
Others, however, are not warmed up to the idea of a university fight song.
“We don’t really have a lot of sports teams,” said Laura Spain, a senior history major. “We could use it for rugby or soccer games, but, usually, I see fight songs being used for football. We don’t have a football team, so it seems a little strange.” Other students noted they felt that having a fight song on par with those of larger schools would disrupt the small and independent atmosphere of the university.
Despite the varying sentiments pertaining to the creation of a fight song, its creation could prove to be beneficial for the university. Traditionally, fight songs serve as a way to bond the players and the spectators at a game. It also serves to show visiting universities that even the smallest schools can have a lot of spirit.