WASEDA WEEKLY

Field Report:
Singing the Alma Mater
   --Together for a Century with “Miyako no Seihoku”--


Waseda University Glee Club Bass Leader
4th-year student of the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I
Yoshihiro Saito

Singing enthusiastically the Waseda Alma Mater! (Author on the right end)
Singing enthusiastically the Waseda Alma Mater! (Author on the right end)
The conductor, Masaki Hoshi, addressing the audience after concluding the performance
The conductor, Masaki Hoshi, addressing the audience after concluding the performance
800 present and former members singing the school anthem in from of the Okuma Auditorium. This building was named a National Important Culture Property on October 19th.
800 present and former members singing the school anthem in from of the Okuma Auditorium. This building was named a National Important Culture Property on October 19th.

The Alma Mater for Waseda, “Miyako no Seihoku” (To the Northwest of the Capital City) was composed in 1907 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the university. The first people to sing the song publicly were nine male students who started to organize as members of the "Vocalist Club" the same year and who became the forerunners of the male chorus group known as the "Waseda University Glee Club."

This year being the 125th anniversary of Waseda University meant also that it was special for us since exactly a century had passed since the birth of the school song as well as our club. On October 20th, one day before the anniversary of the founding day was an overwhelmingly festive homecoming day. One hundred current members of the club and about 700 former members (“old boys”) from all over the globe gathered in front of Okuma Auditorium to sing and celebrate the 100th year of our club and the song, and hope for further prosperity. This event was officially recognized by the university and added an extra flair to the anniversary celebration.

Through this experience, the current members were able to feel the intensity which the old boys hold for the anthem and the group. The oldest participant was 94 years old! He is still very much active in the old boys' chorus group. Furthermore, those working abroad had taken days off from work for the purpose of attending this event. Every member shared enthusiastically the memories that they associate with the song.

The love for Waseda, the song, and Glee Club has been passed down for a century without changing. We received many words of encouragement from the old boys, and renewed the determination to prepare for our regular annual performance due to take place in December.

This event, titled “Because of You -100th Anniversary,” will serve as a milestone for the next 100 years. At the same time, this is a start for another 100 years for the Alma Mater. As Waseda students, we feel a great joy in passing down, or rather singing down, the Alma Mater for generations to come, and believe in the development of the Waseda University Glee Club.


Copyright (C) 2007 Student Affairs Division, WASEDA University. All rights reserved.
First drafted 2007 November 29.