From Devo’s quirky take on the Rolling Stones’ “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” to Daughtry’s acoustic cover of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” musicians often reimagine popular tunes in their own style. In honor of the WSU Fight Song’s 100th anniversary, the Cougar Marching Band will perform four different arrangements of the beloved tune during the WSU football halftime show on Saturday, Nov. 16, in Martin Stadium.
Written by two music students in Pullman, the WSU Fight Song was first published in February 1919 and had its home football debut on Nov. 1, 1919, at the WSC game against the University of Idaho, “so this year’s first home game in November is the perfect opportunity to showcase the song along with the arranging skills of our talented music faculty,” said Troy Bennefield, assistant professor of music and director of athletic bands.
The four versions to be performed on Saturday include the original vocal score, a Dixieland jazz arrangement, a Big Band swing version, and an updated 2019 arrangement for the full band.
Horace Alexander Young, an accomplished international recording artist and associate professor of saxophone and jazz studies at WSU, arranged the Dixieland score for the Cougar Marching Band. Saturday will be the first time it has been performed live for an audience.