Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 16, 2024

Voting underway for Hopkins song contest

By AMANDA AUBLE | February 26, 2015

Between now and midnight on March 15, current Hopkins students, faculty, staff and alumni can vote online to select the University’s new song as part of the JHU Song Contest. Voters can log onto to hear the full-length songs and rank their top three favorites.

From Sept. 15 to Nov. 15 of this year, the JHU Song Contest, sponsored by Homewood Student Affairs, the Peabody Conservatory and the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association, accepted Hopkins affiliates’ submissions. A panel of nine judges narrowed the choices down to five finalists: “Homewood Hours,” “Johns Hopkins Glory,” “Ode to Black and Blue,” “The Hopkins Black and Blue” and “Truth Guide our University.”

These songs’ composers chose to overlook musical trends and lyrical complexity. Instead, the composers chose to write songs that serve to honor tradition and aim to become timeless additions to the University’s history with their simplistic lyrics. In the original contest guidelines, composers were encouraged to reference other classic Hopkins songs contained in the University’s song book.

“The University wanted to try to come up with a new, more contemporary school song that honors the heritage of the existing songbook,” Director of Homewood Arts Eric Beatty wrote in an email to The News-Letter.

Published in 1922, The Hopkins Songbook contains 18 songs and several “yells” celebrating school pride. The winning song will add its more modern melody to the book of classic Hopkins voices.

“All the songwriters who submitted to the contest clearly have a great love of Hopkins and were passionate about offering an original song as a way to honor the University,” Beatty wrote.

Even with renowned institutions such as the Peabody Conservatory of Music as resources, the JHU Song Contest aims to incorporate and unite all areas of the Hopkins community.

“The contest fosters community spirit through being an inclusive process for all members of the University,” Beatty wrote. “The committee received submissions from current students, faculty and staff and also from alumni. The voting process is open to all as well. In addition, a school song can be a common reference point for people of all ages who share experiences and memories of Hopkins, either by attending as a student or working here.”

Other than a $2,000 cash prize, the winning composer will also hear their song played at various Hopkins events as a means of cultivating University spirit.

“Time will tell how the new song is used. It is my understanding that we hope to incorporate the song at large campus events such as Freshmen High Table, Convocation or Commencement,” Beatty wrote.

Even the musical submissions that did not make it to the final selection will still have the potential to find a home in the Hopkins community. Students, faculty and staff can expect to hear the new musical numbers.

“While they were not finalists in the contest, certain ceremonial and fight songs that were submitted were noted by the committee as possible repertoire to offer in the future to campus music organizations, such as the Choral Society or the JHU Bands,” Beatty wrote.

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