Sunday, September 2, 2012

Alma Mater

Saxon Shield Volume 1, Issue 1
As many have seen, Loara has gone through many transitions in it's 50 year History.  In digging through the archives we discover that the Alma Mater we have been singing for years is in fact a "newer" Alma Mater then was brought to the Saxons. (See Volume 1 Issue 1 of the Saxon Shield)

Original Alma Mater

All hail Loara, All hail thy fair name,
they loyal sons and daughters will always sing thy fame.
Thy colors I'll cherish, in fond memory.
I'll sing thy praise and glory
Wherever I may be.
I'll sing thy praise and glory
Wherever I may be.

When does it change? Why does it change? Who changes it?

Saxon Shield 11/05/1964

Since being on this fact finding mission we are getting closer to an answer, but no good story goes without intrigue or controversy.  My crack staff, John D. Marshall (class of 69) discovered while preserving the Saxon Shields for posterity sake that there are two articles that show a shift and a controversial voting measure.  It appears that the school was to vote in November of 1964 (Saxon Shield November 5, 1964) on whether they were willing to change the Alma Mater mid year and apparently that vote was thrown out and another was to take place as stated in the December 3, 1964 edition of the Saxon Shield.  Following that we have yet to find any written decision to when the switch actually happened but that it did happen.

Anthony Mastroangelo (Class of 65) offers this "Several, and do not ask for names as I can not tell you, put together a bunch of words that some here are calling the first alma mater. Problem being no one, except perhaps some creating the words were willing to accept it. 

To the best of my knowledge the above referenced individual work was never accepted as our alma mater via a stand alone vote.

By the end of the '62-'63 year the issue of the alma mater started to  become contentious especially because of the insistence over its use.

At the beginning of the '63-'64 term the Chamber Singers had just been formed and their director, Edwin Grace, suggested that as a new group they could contribute greatly to our school by writing new and more musically appropriate lyrics.

Saxon Shield 12/03/1964
The Chamber Singers took on the task with vigor. After an extended period of repeated rewrites it was finally decided that our own Mrs. Molly Wampler should be asked to accept the role of poet laureate for Loara. In all the charm and patience always displayed by this wonderful lady, she agreed to help us in putting together a blend of words that for whatever reason seemed to elude us for too long a time.

The final draft of the alma mater provided by Mrs. Wampler, to the best of my knowledge, never had so much as one word changed since it was presented back to the group that also unanimously approved of it.

The student body ultimately voted to adopt the words written by Mrs. Wampler which was to used in conjunction with the musical composition of James Ployhar."

The Alma Mater has been sung it's current text and tune since then.  It is sung at every Assembly, Game and Event.  The students show two fingers in the air showing sign of victory whether we win our lose, because as Saxons, we always are winners.

Current Alma Mater

Hail Loara, school we cherish,
Built by Saxons loyal and true
She provides a firm foundation
Which will last our whole lives through

May her memories always linger,
May traditions live long too
Red and Gold will fly forever
Loara we'll honor you

Hail Loara, school we cherish,
Built by Saxons loyal and true
She provides a firm foundation
Which will last our whole lives through

This was found following the original blog:

In the Saxon Shield they finally accepted the Alma Mater.  This article doesn't really clear up any mystery we didn't already know, and we don't really have any knowledge to why they threw out the vote, but here it is in black in white that during the 64 - 65 year they "didn't have an Alma Mater and they played the fight song slow" but by November 18, 1965 a day before their Homecoming when they announced their first Queen, an article comes out about the "controversial Alma Mater."

Saxon Shield November 18, 1965

1 comment:

  1. That's a VERY current Alma Mater. Since 1964. Leonore ('67) got the one line wrong. It is correct at the bottom of the blog. "Red and Gold will FLY forever..." A big thank you to the late Mrs. Molly Wampler, the Chamber Singers of 1964, and composer James D. Ployhar for their contributions to give us this beautiful piece of the Loara legend.