What do most major universities have that the University of Victoria has never had? A rally song to get fans and teams pumped up during games! That’s all about to change, however, thanks to a new contest sponsored by Vikes Athletics and UVic’s School of Music. Better still, you can win an iPad if you come up with the winning song.

Vikes Nation needs a Rally Song! (photo: Armando Tura)

Vikes Nation needs a Rally Song! (photo: Armando Tura)

While the crowd at any game can readily chant “Let’s go Vikes, let’s go!”, it isn’t quite the same as having a UVic-specific rally song sporting unique and memorable music and lyrics. “To maintain our standard of excellence and build tradition at UVic, it’s important that our fans have a rally song to cheer during games,” says Clint Hamilton, Director of Athletics. “We know it will be popular on game days and will help in growing school spirit as part of the Vikes Nation initiative.”

UVic students, faculty, staff, and the general public alike are invited to submit original material to the Vikes Rally Song Contest. Songs should be no longer than 20 seconds, must include the word “Vikes” and the deadline for submissions is November 15, 2013. BREAKING NEWS: The deadline has now been extended to November 24, 2013. Lyrics and a YouTube link of the song being performed must be submitted online for judging. (Full contest details are listed at the bottom of this post.)

While the song itself cannot exceed 20 seconds, the video can run longer than that—remember, rally songs are often chanted repeatedly, so contestants can get their friends, supporters and members of the Vikes Nation out to perform it. Any style of music is welcome, from chants and jazz to rock and hip hop. But the winning song should be able to be easily sung and performed by game-day crowds with no accompaniment.


Win an iPad for a 20 second song? Sweet!

The winning songwriter will receive a $500 iPad courtesy of PepsiCo Canada, who is proud to partner with Vikes Nation and the School of Music on this school spirit initiative. Winners will also receive a prize package of CDs and tickets for School of Music performances and Vikes games, and the winning song will be recorded at the School of Music for use in future Athletics events.

“Music plays a vital role in encouraging community, spirit, and success,” says Susan Lewis Hammond, Director of the School of Music. “The School of Music is excited to support the Rally Song Contest at UVic. Our partnership with Vikes Athletics speaks to a shared commitment to teamwork, collaboration, and excellence in student training and performance.”

cool basketball listening musicThe judging panel will include new UVic president Jamie Cassels, Athletics Director Clint Hamilton, School of Music Director Susan Lewis Hammond and gold medal-winning athlete Kendra Pomfret, captain of the Vikes women’s cross country/track team. Judging will occur in December, with the shortlisted songs being performed by noted tenor and the School of Music’s Head of Voice Benjamin Butterfield and the UVic Jazz Ensemble at the Vikes Days of Thunder men’s basketball game on January 10, 2014. The crowd at that game will also help decide which song will ultimately win.

It should be noted that, back in its Victoria College days—before its rebranding and relocation as the University of Victoria—there was a Victoria College Fight Song:
“Rack and ruin, blood and gore; Victoria College evermore. Catfish, dogfish, devilfish, sharks / Atta boy, atta boy, raise some sparks / Eat ‘em up, eat ‘em up, eat ‘em up raw /
Victoria College! Rah, rah, rah! Sima, Sima, Sima, Sima, Sima, Sima, Sah / Hi-yick,  hi-yick, Hokie, Pokie, Domin-okie / Hong Kong, Kickie Kackie, Um tra Bah! Victoria! College! Rah! Rah! Rah! Rootiti-toot! Rootiti-toot! We are the kids from the institute. Shall we win it? Well, I guess! College, College, Yes! Yes! Yes!”

Imagine memorizing that one and belting it out during a game! Alas, the Victoria College song hasn’t stood the test of time—likely, in no small part, to the fact that the name “Victoria College” hasn’t been used in 50 years. (Interesting that it would include mention of all those fish, however, given UVic’s current association with ocean sciences.)

While music students may seem to have an advantage in our current Rally Song contest, sports fans and athletics students may be more familiar with rally songs in general. This academic year will also see greater collaboration between Music and Athletics, with School of Music students and professors performing at select basketball games throughout the 2013/14 season.

For more information on Vikes Nation, visit govikesgo.com/VikesNation

Vikes Rally Song Contest Rules:

  • Songs must include the word “Vikes”
  • Lyrics and a YouTube link must be submitted online via this School of Music submission page
  • Video performances should reflect the spirit of the song (if it’s aggressive, let’s hear the yell; if it’s bubbly, let’s see some jazz hands; if it’s written for movement, let’s see the choreography)
  • Songs must be no longer than 20 seconds, but submitted videos can be longer
  • Deadline for submissions is now November 24, 2013
  • Shortlisted contestants will be notified by December 15, 2013
  • Shortlisted songs will be premiered at the Vikes men’s basketball game on January 10, 2014
  • The winner will receive a $500 iPad courtesy PepsiCo Canada, plus tickets & CDs
  • The winning song will also be recorded at the School of Music for use in future games

    Vikes Fans

    “Uh, go Vikes . . . hmm hmm . . . yeah, Vikes, yeah!” Bet you can write a better 20-second Rally Song than that! (photo: Armando Tura)