Notre Dame Music

The Music of Notre Dame

The famous Notre Dame Victory March is widely held as one of the most recognized and the best college fight song in the country. It has certainly been emulated and copied as much as any college song in history, but it has never been equaled.

The Victory March was written in 1908 by two Notre Dame graduates, Father Michael Shea and his brother John. They first performed the song on their music teacher’s church organ in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The Notre Dame Victory March was born, and was first played at Notre Dame on Easter Sunday in 1909. Notre Dame Band Director Joseph Casasanta skillfully arranged the piece to sound the way we hear it today.

Casasanta (director from 1919 to 1942) went on to compose the alma mater, Notre Dame, Our Mother, and the other famous Notre Dame football songs, Hike, Notre Dame, When Irish Backs Go Marching By, and Down the Line. Robert F. O’Brien, director from 1952 to 1986 added Damsha Bua (the Victory Clog). Current director Ken Dye composed the Celtic Chant.

Courtesy of The Notre Dame Band.