The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

School Songs Originate to Cheer Falcons

Students and staff members of Tompkins High School cheer on their falcons in many ways. One of the ways is by listening to and performing the Fight Song during school spirit events and coming up with the lyrics of the school song. These two songs are not as similar as one might think. The music and words of the Fight Song and the Alma Mater each signify different ideas and have different origins.

The music of the Fight Song is from Troy University. The Tompkins band had previously listened to the music of a lot of fight songs during meetings before the school opened. Then they came up with a list of possible songs and submitted them to Mark Grisdale, the principal. Everyone, including Grisdale, decided that the music of the Fight Song from Troy University would fit this school the best. Some of the locations of where the band performs the Fight Song today are at football games, pep rallies and other school spirit events.

“The Fight song is supposed to get people excited and fired up for events,” assistant band director David Singletary said.

The music of the Alma Mater, which is a tribute to this school, was made famous by Percy Grainger, an Australian- born composer in a piece called Lincolnshire Posy. The tune of this music is called Horkstow Grange and the school borrowed this. Gabe Musella, the head band director, was the main person in arranging the music of the Alma Mater for the school. One of the main differences between the music of the Fight Song and that of the Alma Mater is that the Fight Song is fast and short while the Alma Mater is slow and lyrical.

“School songs are supposed to bring back good memories of everyone’s time here at Tompkins while also putting them in a content mood,” Singletary said.

The lyrics to the Fight Song were from Troy University as well. However, the school changed some of the words in order for the song to fit the school better. The Fight Song places an emphasis on the encouragement and support that falcons have for each other. Most of its words have to do with falcons cheering for victory. Its words signify the faith that falcons have in one another. It is an inspiring song that is meant for cheering on players, encouraging them to victory, and reminding them that the school is supporting them.

“The words of the Fight Song should make people feel inspired. If people feel weak or like they can’t achieve something, hearing the fight song should give them the confidence to push through,” choir teacher Christin Reinartz said.

While Reinartz didn’t come up with the lyrics of the Fight Song, she did come up with the lyrics of the Alma Mater. She started writing it the summer before the school first opened. This was because Tompkins had an inauguration before it opened, so the Fight Song and Alma Mater’s words had to be finalized before then. The lyrics of the Alma Mater are about the kind of character and values that falcons should have. The words signify that there is an element of loyalty that people of this school have to being falcons even after they graduate.

“The words of the Alma Mater should make people feel proud and like they belong with others at this school. The lyrics also instill a sense of pride that people have for their school, classmates, and being a falcon,” Reinartz said.

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