Transcription - Evelyn Hubbell Graduation Speech

    The high school graduation exercises last night were appropriately opened with the salute to the flag. The class of 1923 received its diplomas on the evening of flag day. It was fitting that the salute begin the exercises as the pupils pledged allegiance to their flag a deep thrill of patriotism and devotion to the emblem of this country swept the audience.
Honor winners.
    Honor winners for 1923 were Leslie Wheeler Coburn, valedictorian. . .There were six speakers from the members of the class, four of whom were honor pupils. The other two were Norman Feifer, president of the graduating class and Evelyn Hubbell, who elected by the class to have a part in the program.
    Every seat in the Sterling Theater was taken when the graduation exercises began. The limited seating capacity of the theater, combined with the number of graduates made it necessary to limit the number of tickets to each member of the class to eight.
    In addition to the recipients of tickets from members of the class others who were present were city officials and a few of those who have manifested an interest in school affairs. Two years ago it became necessary to eliminate the practice of giving tickets to all the members of former boards of education living in this city.
    The usual arrangement of seating of individuals was followed out again last night, the pupils occupying the entire stage, with members of the graduating class in front with the boys on one side and the girls on the other. The first number was "Carmena," by Wilson, by the high school chorus. It proved to be a happy choice and it was liberally applauded.
Hildegard E. Willmann.
    Hildegard E. Willmann, the salutatorian said, "It is with heartfelt pleasure that we welcome you this evening to our graduation exercises, and it is indeed gratifying to see so many friends and relatives present. We take this opportunity to thank you for the interest you have always shown the Derby high school and the welfare of the class of 1923."
The subject of Miss Willmann’s essay was "Physical Education" [Speech not transcribed.]
Fred Cuneo.
    Fred Cuneo was the second speaker. John Wanamaker, the merchant, was the subject of his essay. [Speech not transcribed.]
Matthew F. Costigan.
    The high school chorus rendered an ambitious and interesting number, "The saga of Eric the Red," by Paul Bliss, and was loudly applauded. Matthew F. Costigan was the next speaker and had as is subject, "America and the World Court." [Speech not transcribed.]
Evelyn Hubbell.
"Music" was the subject of the essay by Evelyn Hubbell.
    Music is as ancient as the wind. There was never a time when it could not be heard. Through untold ages it has appealed to the emotions of the people, expressing their moods as no other art can do.
    Imitation of nature was probably the beginning of emotional music. Perhaps the Greeks attached more importance to music than any other primitive nation of the world. They believed music was the most educative and uplifting force.
    Music was held in high esteem by other nations as well as by the Greeks. Wandering minstrels and jongleurs of the middle ages by their singing helped preserve the history and literature by their people.
    The ultimate questions is said the speaker: "What kind of music best expresses the American temperament, and how fully does it give utterance to the artistic nature of the American people?"
    It seems that today, the majority prefers ragtime and musical comedies to folk songs or to the simpler classics. It is generally thought that jazz is the perfect expression of the American city, with its restless bustle and motion, and its underlying rhythmic progress toward a vague somewhere, and it is today the "one true American music."
    Others take the opposite viewpoint and say that jazz is only a temporary mania that is sweeping the country, as part of the usual aftermath of war.
Let us recognize music in every possible way. Every group community and section should unite in making or listening to the best music. It is a mission as noble as any ever given to man , and may the spirit of music as well as the spirit of democracy live forever in the hearts of the American people.
Norman Feifer.
    Norman Feifer, president of the class of 1923, had "Forest Conservation," as the subject of his essay. [Speech not transcribed.]
Leslie Coburn.
    Coleridge Taylor’s "Viking King" was rendered enthusiastically and with power by the high school chorus and then came the last essay of the evening by Leslie Coburn, the class valedictorian. His subject was "The Other Half" [Speech not transcribed.]
Supt. John F. Pickett.
    Supt. of schools, John F. Pickett spoke briefly before he presented the diplomas to the graduating class and awarded the prizes.
D.H.S., ’23.
The graduates who received diplomas were [including]: Evelyn Marie Hubbell.
Prize Awards.
    Supt. Pickett awarded the prizes, as follows [including]:
    "The Nettleton Prize"-Mr. and Mrs. C.H. Nettleton give a sum of money each year to be distributed to those members of the graduating class who have been perfect in attendance during the entire four years of the high school course. Awarded to Evelyn Hubbell. Two members had only one mark during the four years.
Now They’re Alumni.
    The exercise closed with "The Star Spangled Banner" and the curtain was dropped. Then came the rush for the street, where the newest alumni of Derby high school were greeted by their parents, their brothers and sisters and their friends. Kisses were exchanged, and girls in white gowns crushed fresh blossoms within their embrace as their devoted parents pressed them to their hearts. The first few minutes outside the stage door of the Sterling Theater is the most impressive of any during the evening.
    Then it is with overwhelming happiness in their hearts, the memories of the years from infancy to that crowning moment passing swiftly review, and with tears of joy falling unheeded give vent to their emotions.