20 September 2019

Competition: New University Song


When I count to three, you sing the Io Vivat start to finish, by heart, and then follow up with the Gaudeamus Igitur! What’s that? You don’t know those songs by heart? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. That is exactly why the Executive Board decided to challenge the university community - in the form of a competition – to write a new song to be played at academic ceremonies. The writer of the winning song will win €1000,-.

All students, employees and alumni are invited to create and enter a text or a full song. Are you up for the challenge? Just imagine your song sounding through the Dom Church during the Opening of the Academic Year or the Dies Natalis!

Before you start writing and/or composing, here are a few things to keep in mind. The new song should exude pride and joy. It embodies who we are, and what it means to be a part of the university’s community.

Inspiration for the song’s contents

  • The rich history of Utrecht University
  • The future
  • Students, professors and researchers
  • Connecting with the city
  • The value of the university and its open world view

Inspiration for the song form

  • Easy to sing along to
  • Simple composition
  • Classical or modern
  • Short and impactful (two minutes maximum)
  • Free build-up: the song does not need a pop build-up. For instance, it could also be a repeating chorus.
  • A modern text, possibly in rhyme
  • Language: Dutch or English
  • Preferably, the university’s slogan ‘Sol Iustitiae Illustra Nos’ is appears in the text.


In order to help you get started on your University Song, the lead singer of Handsome Poets and Cultural Centre Parnassos instructor Tim van Esch will offer free coaching on Thursday night, 15 October. The workshop will take place in Parnassos. Sign up before 12 October by sending a mail to universiteitslied@uu.nl.


Everybody who is a part of the university’s community is welcome to participate. The song can be just a text, or text accompanied by music. A professional jury led by the headmaster will select the winning song, which will be played for the first tome on the 2020 Dies.

Songs can be entered until November 15, 2019, via universiteitslied@uu.nl.