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We Will Rise Again The Story Behind the Music AT CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL, we begin each
day with prayer. We never walk on the grass and don’t even think about coming to school without a haircut. We also end every Mass with the choir leading us in the song, “We Will Rise Again,” by David Haas. For alumni who graduated in the early 1990s and later, you probably know what song I’m talking about. “We will run and not grow weary, for our God will be our strength.” Since its introduction on campus, those lyrics have become ingrained in the overall experience young men receive at Catholic. “And we will fly like the eagle, we will rise again.” But how did it become such a staple of the CHS community? It all started, surprisingly enough, in Exult – the church choir at Our Lady of Mercy in 1990. CHS Choir Director Stephen Galliano, who came to Catholic in 1987, was in Exult when the song was introduced. “At the time, there were four or five of my school choir students who were also in Exult and who knew the song,” said Galliano. When Galliano was asked to provide music for the football team’s morning prayer service, the decision was to send the handful of choir students who were also members of Exult and have them perform one of their standards; “We Will Rise Again.” “It has a catchy refrain and the words certainly have application to the contest on the field,” said Galliano. “That was also the year the football team went to the state championship game in the Superdome for the first time and so it became a tradition for us
to sing it during every game day prayer service as the team kept winning. The rest is history.” Brian Galante ’92 was one of Galliano’s choir students who also performed as an Exult member the year “We Will Rise Again” was first introduced to CHS. “The piece became sort of an anthem after that year and we frequently sang it for liturgies — whether or not it fit — because it was the one piece that the rest of the student body would sing with abandonment,” said Galante. Dr. Tom Eldringhoff, current CHS assistant principal for academics, was also instrumental in the song’s start at Catholic. And I mean that literally. Since the song’s introduction in 1990, Eldringhoff has provided guitar accompaniment for the choir. “It’s Catholic’s unofficial Alma Matter,” said Eldringhoff. “It’s the only church song that I’ve ever heard our kids break out into spontaneous singing outside of Mass. When the swim team won the state title this year, they sang it as a team in the pool. When our football team defeated Evangel this year sending us to the championship game, I could hear our players singing it on the field.” Some traditions are intentional and some are spontaneous. Some are seasonal, generational and some last forever. This 26-year-old tradition, is one that will forever be engrained in the Catholic High experience. What may have been coincidental in the beginning is now embedded in the minds and hearts of the entire Catholic High School community.
A Brothers of the Sacred Heart School Since 1894