From the Archives with Byron Hanson: March / April 2016

A short history of “Sound the Call”

Edwin Franko Goldman, eminent conductor and composer of more than 100 marches, came to guest-conduct the Camp band in 1932, our sixth summer. Our first “Camp Song”—“lnterlochen, Interlochen, we Love You”—had been devised a few years earlier by combining the tune from the Trio of Goldman's very popular March “On the Mall” with words written by Raymond Dvorak, a Camp Faculty member. (Most campers would have known the tune: it was as popular from the 1920s as, say, “76 Trombones” is to lots of audiences today.) Furthermore, for years Goldman had encouraged his Central Park audiences to sing the simple trio tune just on syllables la pa PA-eh, la pa PA-eh, la pa PA-eh PA when it comes around a second time; this became “Interlochen, Interlochen, We Love You” with Dvorak's words.

So Goldman suggested there be a contest to write lyrics for “The Interlochen Bowl,” the march he had written for us. The lyrics a camp staff member wrote, Oh sound the call to dear old Interlochen, were declared the winner and were printed in all the parts when Goldman’s march was published a few years later. This song was learned by Interlochen campers in an era before mobile phones, when only Dick Tracy had a “two-way wrist radio,” and singing around campfires was common. Ironically, the words written for “The Northern Pines,” the march Sousa presented to us on his his second visit in 1931, never caught on, nor did the march itself. By the time Mr. Giddings died in 1954, the first song was seldom heard, and “Sound the Call” became the sole survivor.