Towson U Seeks New Fight Song

July 07, 2009|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,childs.walker@baltsun.com

John Miliauskas had watched so much change at Towson University that he finally came to a conclusion about the university band's most-played piece.

"It was OK," the band director said of Towson's fight song, played at football games and student rallies. "But we wanted to make it something extra special."

With that in mind, Towson is holding a contest for new fight song lyrics. The competition - open to students, alumni, faculty and donors - will run through July 17. The winner will receive $500.

Jeff Hosier, a 2008 music education graduate, won a previous contest to select the song's tune. His composition can be heard on the band's Web site, towson.edu/bands/mb/index.asp.

Why change a familiar tune now? "Towson is not your father's Towson anymore," Miliauskas explained. "It really is a time to establish new traditions and to take ownership of that new identity."

The old lyrics, "Fight on Towson Tigers, Fight on black and gold, Fight on Towson Tigers, Hit 'em hard, let 'em know who's bold," may be too simplistic for a place that's no longer a little commuter college.

In fact, the band has been one frontier in the university's growth.

Miliauskas arrived at Towson with a charge from the president's office to expand the band in the name of campus spirit. In six years, it has mushroomed from 75 members to between 230 and 250. This fall, the Tiger Marching Band will play in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

Miliauskas hopes the band will deliver its first live performance of the new fight song at a pep rally in September. He said he isn't looking for any particular themes in the new lyrics (he has already received 10 entries).

"The fewer parameters, the more chance that something creative and unique will come about," he said.

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