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UNI Marching Band plays for a victory
Story by Sara Wesselmann, UNI University Relations online magazine and public relations assistant
As the University of Northern Iowa Panther football team prepares for the opening kickoff of the 2010-2011 season, practicing, the UNI Marching Band is practicing for something a little different.
The UNI Marching Band will debut the new "Victory March" at the first home football game on Saturday, Sept. 11.
"Previously, UNI's school songs have included just the fight song and the alma mater. Most universities have one or more victory marches in addition to the fight song," said Danny Galyen, director of UNI's marching band.
After a summer practicing with the band, Galyen decided it was time for UNI to incorporate a victory march on their playlist.
Galyen wanted the song to be one that the audience could stand up and clap to and have a foundation that relates to the rich cultural history of Iowa. His criteria for the perfect UNI Victory March was found in the "Iowa Corn Song," composed by former secretary of the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce George E. Hamilton in 1912. Contributors to the song also include Ray Lockard and bandleader John Beeston.
Meredith Young, a senior in the UNI marching band who had played "Iowa Corn Song" as a member of the Waverly Municipal Band during high school, originally suggested the song to Galyen.
"The students in the marching band quickly became attached to the song and were excited to be able to contribute to the traditions of the university," said Galyen.
He explained that UNI's rendition of the Victory March of the "Iowa Corn Song" is based on its melody and may only be recognizable to those who are familiar with the tune, since it has been transformed into a unique up-tempo fight song arrangement.