BSHS Band to present new edition of Alma Mater
The Berkeley Springs High School Marching Band will present their new edition of the BSHS Alma Mater at the home opener on August 31.
A staple of football pregame shows across the nation, a school's Alma Mater unites graduates and current students with a song of school pride. For many years, Berkeley Springs has had no song. The high school library's yearbook archives contain lyrics to a song called "Indian Echoes" written by former principal George Ludwig circa 1950, but no sheet music or recording.
In the spring of 2007, Band Director Lee Cheek's Music Theory classes began a project to bring the Alma Mater back. Interviews with many graduates and retired teachers to find the tune that fit the lyrics were unsuccessful, as were inquiries to former band directors and historical organizations. When it became apparent that the old music would not be found, the class collaborated to modernize the lyrics and compose a new melody and harmony.
The second edition of the BSHS Alma Mater consists of an updated version of the second verse of Principal Ludwig's "Indian Echoes." The melody moves primarily by step in a major key to make it accessible to even inexperienced singers, and it is harmonized in traditional hymn song style.
"The band is proud to return this piece of our school tradition, and we invite our fellow students and alumni to sing along and show your Berkeley Springs pride," said Editor Lee Cheek: Music Theory students are Tim Brooks, Chelsea Fox, Silvia Grauel, Emily Hornbaker, Kelsey Swaim, Paul Truitt and Kevin Wurster.