New Radicals are a one-hit wonder, but the one song they gave us is a gem. Portions of the lyrics remain a bit controversial, but the basic point is a celebration of the power of youth. This makes it perfect for honoring the feeling of personal strength and readiness to take on the world after graduation.
Since its original release as a part of the cast recording of the hit Broadway show Wicked in 2003, the song "Defying Gravity" has been an inspiration for countless people looking to break out of boundaries and restrictions to find a new life of soaring free of the pull of gravity. It is a perfect song for celebrating graduation and looking forward to a new, exciting life.
Colleen Fitzpatrick, the former lead vocalist for the group Eve's Plum, recorded under the name Vitamin C as a solo artist. This song was one of the standout cuts on the album Vitamin C, released in 1999. It was an instant graduation classic pulling in the power of memories in years to come and the value of friends forever. It works well sung live with a chorus as well.
This work by English composer Sir Edward Elgar was first played in Liverpool, England in 1901. It was first played at a graduation ceremony in the US in 1905 when Elgar was invited to Yale University to receive an honorary degree. Today, the Trio section "Land Of Hope and Glory" that begins just under two minutes in is played as a processional at nearly every graduation ceremony across the country.