It’s only recited, sung or hummed once a year in public at East Noble High School’s senior honors night.
A group of graduating seniors takes to the Cole Auditorium Munk stage at the end of senior honors night and leads the audience in singing the school’s hymn. Few join in, and no one stands up. The hymn is printed in the programs.
I can recall attending East Noble High School in the early years of consolidation (1967-70) and singing the hymn at several public events. We had to memorize it. If we didn’t stand up and sing the school hymn, we got stern looks from principal Royal Tritch. That was all that was needed for us to comply — no verbal threats or warnings, just a stare.
Ask an East Noble student today about the school hymn and they’d probably shrug, laugh or make a joke. Has apathy buried another East Noble tradition? Maybe not.
Recently East Noble superintendent Ann Linson honored the hymn’s composer Romane Trowbridge Feller, a 1964 Kendallville High School graduate, during a special ceremony at the school district’s central office building. “I had forgotten about it,” Feller said in a phone interview from her home in Streetcrest, Mich., near Kalamazoo. Feller and her husband Bob Feller, a 1963 Kendallville High School graduate, came to Kendallville to accept the honor.
Her husband made it his mission, so to speak, to let East Noble administrators know about his wife’s contribution to the school district’s history. He contacted Linson who invited the Fellers to the ceremony.
During Feller’s senior year the local school district was in transition. Consolidation had been approved and construction had begun in September 1964 on the new East Noble High School. A committee of students and faculty met to come up with a new school fight song, school colors and a school mascot.
As for a school hymn, that task was left to students in Mary Black’s English class. “She was quite a character,” said Feller with a laugh. “I had her for English literature my senior year.” Black assigned her students to write the words for a school hymn for the new high school.
Feller was an accomplished pianist and used her musical background to compose a hymn. “I could see the melody in my mind, and make the words fit. I think this gave me an advantage, but I never expected it would be selected,” said the creator of the lyrics and melody.
Here is the East Noble High School Hymn:
“Moving onward, ever onward
Knights of honor true,
As we bear our colors proudly,
Gold and Royal blue.
Though we part, we shall remember
Friends we made so dear.
Though we leave East Noble High School
Hearts will linger here.”
At Kendallville High School, Feller accompanied an all-girl sextet group, and was a member of Y-Teens, the Junior Classical League and Wig & Paint where she did make-up for theater productions.
The Fellers enjoyed their school days, and are thankful they grew up in Kendallville. They sometimes return for class reunions.
Romane Feller is grateful for the East Noble administration’s recognition. “I was surprised they remembered after all these years,” she said.
Wouldn’t it be special if Romane was invited to the 2014 East Noble High School senior honors night or commencement and led a standing audience in singing the hymn?
Couldn’t resist passing on this sports item I picked up from the web taken from an interview with Indiana Pacers guard Paul George about Larry Bird.
SLAM: I believe you had talked about seeing Larry shoot in the gym.
PG: He picked a ball up that had rolled over. He rolled up his sleeves and made about 15 in a row and just walked out like nothing just happened. It was the craziest thing I’ve seen.
SLAM: How did you and the rest of the team react?
PG: We were speechless. We didn’t know whether to keep shooting or just to end practice. It was sweet, man.