A Centennial Celebration of Barbara Langworthy: The Composer of Lake George’s Alma Mater

On Dec. 20, 2023, Lake George had the honor of celebrating the 100th birthday of a remarkable woman whose enduring legacy has been woven into our school’s identity. 

Barbara Langworthy (née Parsons), born on Dec. 20, 1923, is the gifted individual behind Lake George Central School District’s alma mater, a piece that has resonated through the corridors of the Jr.-Sr. High School for over eight decades.

In a recent interview, Barbara, who graduated from Lake George’s Class of 1941, shared the captivating story of how as a 15-year-old sophomore in 1939, she became the composer of our song.

Barbara Langworthy with her son.

Inspired by musical moments with her mother, who worked in the Glens Falls Common School District, Barbara expressed a wish for Lake George to have its own alma mater. Her mother, supportively and encouragingly, responded with the challenge: “Then write one!”

Undeterred by the task, Barbara composed what would become the first verse of the alma mater. Her creation caught the attention of Principal Robert Lumianski who recognized its brilliance, but suggested the need for an additional verse. Diligently, Barbara crafted the second verse, completing the harmonious song we know today.

The debut of Barbara’s piece was met with resounding approval from the student body when Principal Lumianski presented it to the school. To enhance the musical experience, Mr. Horn, a skilled pianist and Lake George music teacher, collaborated to provide its fitting melody. The timeless tunes of “America the Beautiful” were also woven into Barbara’s lyrics.

During the interview Jr.-Sr. High School Principal Francis Cocozza recited the lyrics to Barbara. Barbara, dedicated to her creation, promptly corrected an inaccuracy. The line “Shall live forever more” was initially written as “Shall dwell forever more,” showcasing Barbara’s remembrance to her creation in her early years.

As the high school celebrates Barbara’s centennial milestone, the timelessness of her alma mater continues to bring together generations of Lake George students, faculty, and alumni. Barbara’s creative spirit, nurtured as a teen, has left its place in school’s history, reminding us all that the power of art and inspiration knows no age. 

Happy 100th birthday, Barbara – may your melodies echo through the halls of Lake George for even more generations to come.