After going some 30 years with no official Radcliffe song in its repertoire, the Harvard Band tonight will officially debut "R-A-D," a song dedicated to Radcliffe that the band hopes will become a mainstay.
According to Thomas E. Everett, director of the Harvard Band, the group decided last year to include a Radcliffe song in its regular program again. Although the band played Radcliffe songs during the 1940s and '50s, the band has since lost the old scores, and thus had to find a new song to play.
So Everett and Jane A. Ople '50, executive director of the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association, decided to "look for something appropriate."
They finally settled on "R-A-D," a song written in 1911 by Alice Hunnewell '11.
Everett described the song as a "spirited upbeat melody with a traditional sound. The harmony is the popular time piece of the twenties."
The band will officially premiere "R-A-D" during the 71st annual Dartmouth Concert tonight at Sanders Theater.
"I expect a very positive reaction [to the new song]," Ople said. "It might take a little while for the present Radcliffe women to memorize the lyrics."
The Radcliffe Alumnae Association got a sneak preview of "R-A-D" at their biannual conference last week. Ople said that she wanted alums from across the country to hear the song in its revised form.
"They were really pleased," Ople said.
Everett said that it was about time that the repertoire reflected modern times, especially since about half of the band members are affiliated with Radcliffe.
Band members, meanwhile, have had different reactions to the song.
Student Director Paul D. Asimow '91 said that "in typical band fashion, most [band members] make fun of it."
But Everett said that "generally, everyone has been pleased...It has been accepted into the repertoire."
James D. May '91, another band member, said that choosing a Radcliffe song was no easy task.
"A lot of the old Radcliffe songs may have been insulting to the Harvard-Radcliffe women of today," May said.
R-A-D was arranged to fit the "expected and accepted traditional songs" played by the band at football games, Everett said. John Finnegan '47, who arranged many of the band's songs, was contracted to arrange R-A-D.
The Harvard football musical tradition originally did not include Radcliffe, Everett said, because the songs for the games were mostly geared toward men.