Eighty years ago, if you asked an alumnus about Bridgton, his or her first reaction might be to break out in song—the school’s fight song, that is.
For most people these days, the idea that Bridgton Academy even has a school fight song is breaking news in and of itself. But for decades of alumni, The Black and The Gray Forever” represents a pivotal time in their lives—a time when Bridgton Academy was co-educational, a student’s date with “that special someone” centered around our athletic competitions, and “courage and pluck” were considered the only standards by which to live. These days, it is rare to find an individual who is even familiar with the tune and its motivating lyrics; rarer still are those alumni who remain to tell the tales of Bridgton’s glorious athletic victories and sing the song that served as an enduring symbol of a shared experience—no matter what year they graduated.
As the faculty and staff at Bridgton joined others across the globe in finding inventive ways to connect with each other remotely, Bridgton’s Office of Alumni and Development decided to launch a weekly Academy trivia competition aimed at learning more about our historic school. As a result of their research, the actual sheet music to Bridgton’s classic fight song was unearthed. Days later, Bridgton’s school counselor, Anne Polak, MS, LCPC, decided to resurrect this historical treasure. “I thought of the idea to record it because it was recently sent in a staff email, so I thought folks would like to know what it sounds like,” shares Polak. “Music unites us … especially when we are distanced.”
Polak, who also serves as the choir director for the First Church in North Conway, NH played the flute and was joined by their pastor, Ruth Shaver (vocals), and Polak’s father, Floyd Corson, an accomplished organist and retired head of music education at Westfield State College. Corson is currently the artistic director for the White Mountain Musical Arts.
Without any further ado, we invite you to muster up that “courage and pluck” mentioned in these timeless lyrics and get in the Bridgton Academy fighting spirit. Go, Wolverines!