It’s recited before Chenango Valley graduates cross the stage and enter the next phase of their lives. Generations of CV students have sung it or played it on an instrument.
Today, this melody of district pride can still be heard throughout the halls, as the Chenango Valley School Alma Mater stands as a testament of enduring impact.
CV had the opportunity to learn more from Sharyn Skinner (Class of ‘65), the daughter of Mr. Charles A. Fleming. Mrs. Skinner said her father, a former CV educator, helped to write this musical piece, and believes he was accompanied by another teacher, Avis Parsons. Mrs. Skinner said her father, who died at the age of 93 in 2009, would be proud to know that the song he helped to compose continues to illustrate the pride he had in Chenango Valley. While noting that he wasn’t someone who needed to be in the spotlight, she also shared, “He loved music and wanted others to enjoy it as well.”
After graduating from Ithaca College in 1938, Charles A. Fleming began his career as a music teacher at the Port Dickinson Union School that fall. The Chenango Valley Central School District, which would acquire the Port Dickinson school building, was established in 1950. Mr. Fleming retired in 1973 after a 35-year teaching career in this school community. During his lifetime, Mrs. Skinner added that not only was he a great father as well as a devoted husband to her mother for almost 70 years, but he was also very community oriented. This passion was reflected in his involvement throughout the local area, from being an active member of the Port Dickinson Community Association to becoming the minister of music at the Community Baptist Church of Port Dickinson for more than 60 years (with his wife joining as the organist for more than 40 years).
Mrs. Skinner believes that the Alma Mater was written for the first graduating class of the CV district in 1958. Years later, not only have Mr. Fleming’s daughter, son, and grandchildren attended CV, but his great-grandchildren also have the honor of hearing this musical piece that holds such a deep family connection.
If you have any additional information on the history of the CV Alma Mater that you would like to add, please reach out to the Chenango Valley District Office at 607-762-6810.