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September 29, 2023

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New Fight song may join existing one

When students come to football games, they hear many different songs played by the band, including the official fight song and unofficial fight song, but some might not be able to tell which one is which. 

Drum Major Zack Deininger is one of the few to notice the mistake.

“It’s a common misconception that [‘Ay Ziggy Zoomba’] is our fight song,” he said. “It’s more of a fun song.”

A fight song is a warcry anthem that invokes tradition, pride and spirit, Deininger said.

“Forward Falcons” is the University’s official fight song that is played with “Ay Ziggy Zoomba” at certain times during games.

“We play [‘Forward Falcons’] during pregame and every touch down,” Deininger said. “For [‘Ay Ziggy Zoomba’], we play the short version after the first down but we really can play it whenever we want. If the other team misses a field goal or play, we can play it.”

“Ay Ziggy Zoomba” is nice because it has an interactive part to it, Deininger said. 

Students have specific hand motions to go along with the words to the song that involve clapping and rolling their hands in circles. 

The Undergraduate Student Government recently sent a resolution to the Board of Trustees stating they want “Ay Ziggy Zoomba” to become an official fight song to go along side of “Forward Falcons.”

The Board has not approved or declined the resolution yet.

Jason Knavel, assistant athletics director for athletics, is fine with making “Ay Ziggy Zoomba” official, but doesn’t want to push “Forward Falcons” aside.

“[‘Ay Ziggy Zoomba’] fits well for getting students involved,” he said. “Getting up and signing … it seems to fit.”

Both songs are used in the football team’s traditions on and off the field.

“After the game, they come off and sing ‘Forward Falcons’ with the band,” Knavel said. “Then they come into the locker room and sing ‘Ay Ziggy Zoomba’ as a group.”

Director of the Marching Band Carol Hayward doesn’t think “Ay Ziggy Zoomba” should be a fight song to begin with.

“It’s not technically a fight song,” Hayward said. “I would call it a cheer song … because it has a student cheer in it. In basketball games, we throw it in to get a crowd response because it’s in the song.”

Bruce Moss, director of bands, agrees that “Ay Ziggy Zoomba” shouldn’t have official fight song status either.

“It’s not, as college fight songs go, a fight song,” Moss said. “I would call it a chant. It doesn’t have the frame and structure the band needs. It’s more of a ra-ra chant.”

“Ay Ziggy Zoomba” was brought to campus in 1946, according to the University’s website.

“Gilbert Fox had been in World War II, he brought the tune back with him,” Hayward said. “He was apart of the original SIC SIC members and made up the words to the tune.”

“Forward Falcons” was created two years later after a contest was initiated to make a fight song, Hayward said.

“Dr. Wayne Bohrnstedt was on the music faculty at the time and he accepted the assignment to compose the music for a fight song,” she said. “There was another person [Graduate Assistant Sydney Freeman] in the College of English who wrote the words. The band premiered it in the fall of 1948.”

Bohrnstedt left to go to a University California sometime after the song was made, she said. 

However, he will be coming back Oct. 26 to the University so they can honor Bohrnstedt for this contribution to the University.

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