New JU Fight Song Resounds Through Campus

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Photo Courtesy of Kayla Socha

A new academic year at Jacksonville University not only means new athletes, but also a new athletic director and a new marching band. Because of these additions the Dolphins now have their very own fight song, a snippet of which was released on the official JUDolphins YouTube channel on Aug. 30. The new JU fight song was rewritten by sophomore volleyball player Chunia Graves and performed by the JU marching band.

The first refrain of the song is the same as the original written by long time Jacksonville University music faculty member Alvin Rogers. The JU marching band also wanted the fight song to have a more singable and catchy melody that is synonymous with the famous fight songs such as Michigan and Notre Dame. The lyrics represent more of the modern day while the actual tune pays tribute to the American fight song tradition.

Chris Creswell, artist in residence and director of athletic bands, said the new fight song pays homage to the past.

“The general concept behind the song was to create a new song that provided a mix of lyrics and music that both hints at the current day ideals of the school and student body while also giving respect to the past,” said Creswell.

The marching band did put in several hours of work composing, arranging and preparing the new fight song for the upcoming football season. Since most of the work is abstract, it is difficult to quantify the exact amount of time that was put into the song.

“Between the lyrics, composing, and arranging of the fights song there were many minds in play,” Creswell said. “Some of the work was spent in listening to other fight songs, researching the history of JU’s original fight song, etc. Once that work was done the actual notation process was fairly quick, taking around 5 hours to plug it into the computer, create parts, etc.”

Both the Florida Times-Union and WJCT will be running and airing stories about the new fight song and how the marching band went about composing it. As far as promoting the marching band, besides football games they also plan on doing exhibition performances at local band competitions and local parades.

The JU marching band consists of a total of 42 members with two drum majors, three flutes, three clarinets, one sax, one mellophone, four trumpets, three trombones, two baritones, two tubas, nine drum line, seven color guard and five-person rock band (Dolphin Funk).

The new marching band hopes that by next year they are able to grow and be able to travel with the football team to away games. Creswell also hopes the band builds into an ensemble that provides a more contemporary approach to marching band in comparison to other more traditional college bands.

Having the rock band coordinated with the marching band and playing contemporary music are part of their plan to provide an alternative marching band experience. Hopefully this will make JU a destination for students who desire to continue in the marching arts, said Creswell.

Creswell also said that hopefully the fans will get to hear plenty of the fight song at the home games.

“The marching members were able to prepare the song over our 9 hours of camp during the week of welcome,” he said. “But we are always striving to sound better!”

Graves rewrote the song with the idea of a student-friendly fight song that would make the student-body proud. She wanted the lyrics of the song to flow with the spirit of the rhythm.

“I am hoping the Jacksonville University Marching Band is able to capture the true sense of pride and actually spread it through the music for the glory of the new and the old.” said Graves.

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