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Fight song calls for students to raise their voices (Audio included)

By Pete Johnson
On November 6, 2009

Fight on Cosumnes - Fight song

College athletic programs change their players after everyyear's graduation. Through time, new facilities are built,coaches come and go; even the uniforms and sometimes colors are subject to change with the times. However, the school'sfight song lives through it all. It's not allowed to change.It embodies school tradition, pride and student spirit. And,it's a blast. Ironically, the two most esteemed fight songs belong to storied universities Notre Dame and Michigan. Theyhave been a part of those schools century long history, that no alumnus will ever forget.

According to Charles Leroux of the Chicago Tribune it all started in 1898, when University of Michigan sophomoreLouis Elbel thought his schools teams could use a little musical inspiration. And so he wrote "The Victors" the first college fight song of any repute and one that has survivedto be recognized as one of the best songs ever. Time to introduce CRC's song: "Fight on Cosumnes." It all started here back in the late 70's when Music Professor Edward Avila penned the song, but for some unknown reason it never cameto fruition.

Athletic Coordinator Cheri LaDue's undying passion for school spirit and tradition has never waned from her own college days at Baylor. "One day about four to five years ago I was at a faculty function and was just chatting away about how I wish we had a fight song to help boost school pride." Music Dean Ellen Arden- Ogle heard the conversation and told her that there is in fact a copy, of which later Avalia's was found. "We found it," LaDue said. "But it was a few pagesof sheet music that I certainly didn't know how to read."Again, the song became dormant. LaDue said that she still hoped that there was a way to get it completed because ithelps students and fans feel involved. Teacher Convocation Day, the first day of school before students report for instruction, is a day where all faculty meet together and exchange ideas between departments. "We as a department haddecided to put up a challenge to the music department todust this thing off and get it rolling. Little did she know how much her persistence would finally pay off.

Music Professor Grant Parker took the challenge to heed."I knew it was there and actually ending up finding twodifferent compositions, one for a jazz band and one for aconcert band," said Parker. Marching bands generally write school fight songs, which made this even more of challenge.Before his nine years here at CRC, Professor Parker had a 20-year background as a marching band instructor. "I felt we had some work to do, but that it could certainly be accomplished," Parker said. "And I wasn't going totell anyone about it until it was done." With the help of Parker's concert band and student helper Bryan Hutchinson, thefight song was finally becoming a reality. "Bryan helped a lot with mixing the two versions into one helping to make it sound more like a marching band." "We ended up with acatchy tune that we think people can remember," Parker said.Six months after LaDue had put out the challenge she received a faculty email saying that the concert band would be debuting the new CRC fight song at their next concert.

"I was so excited," LaDue said. "I immediately calledArden-Ogle and we made plans to attend the concert. The song was awesome, we were very happy and proud for the band.""Now that we have it we're going to be playing it at sportingevents and wherever else we can. It's going to be a lot offun," she said.

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