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April 21, 2021
Longhorn Band

During the past two semesters, students have worked closely with university leadership to identify areas of opportunity for the Longhorn Band to continue to grow, evolve and change in order to restore its historical glory. 

Prompted in part by concerns about “The Eyes of Texas” alma mater and ongoing funding challenges, leaders from the College of Fine Arts, Butler School of Music and University Bands have developed a plan to expand long-term funding for all university bands, resulting in increased performance options and reduced financial burden for students. 

“We need to celebrate and nurture what makes UT special, and the Longhorn Band is one of those great organizations that shapes our campus culture, elevates school spirit and provides amazing opportunities for our students,” said University of Texas at Austin President Jay Hartzell, who approved the plan. “Our multi-million-dollar commitment over the next five years will support the Longhorn Band in restoring – and even going beyond – its former glory, while also providing strong support for our entire portfolio of university bands.”

The university looks forward to creating a diverse and high-performing collection of band options, including the traditional Longhorn Band, for and with our students.

Components of New Approach

The new approach will invite students to opt into multiple elective band performance opportunities – with full transparency in advance of course registration about the curricular expectations of each academic class.

Longhorn Band options include: 

  • The Longhorn Band, which will continue to perform at university events, sporting events and high-profile functions, including graduation and alumni ceremonies. The band will continue to be an academic for-credit course through the Butler School and will have a required repertoire, including traditional university selections such as the alma mater and fight song.
  • The Longhorn Pep Band, which will continue to perform at university sporting events, including basketball and volleyball games and functions. The band will continue to be an academic for-credit course through the Butler School and will have a required repertoire, including traditional university selections such as the alma mater and fight song.

University Band options include: 

  • Existing University Bands that will continue include four University Concert bands, Longhorn Jazz Ensemble, Longhorn Percussion Ensemble and the University Color Guard.

  • The University Mariachi Paredes, growing and supported by full-time faculty members, will continue to provide options and opportunities with this unique musical repertoire. The band will continue to be an academic for-credit course through the Butler School. Mariachi Paredes will not participate in university traditional songs as part of the required repertoire, but will have options for students, with their choosing, to play these songs in special circumstances. 

  • A “to be named” University Band, a new band concept designed for individuals who want to perform in a marching band, with a focus on leading/directing bands and community engagement. The band will be an academic for-credit course through the Butler School beginning in fall 2022 that will not play the university alma mater or fight song.

All students in the Longhorn Band, Longhorn Pep Band, Mariachi Paredes and the newly created University Band will receive a performance scholarship of $1,000. Band section leaders will each receive a minimum of $2,500. Merit scholarships will also continue to be awarded. 

The university will facilitate opportunities for University Bands to co-perform and create collaborative themed appearances with the Longhorn Band. (For example, Longhorn Band and Mariachi Paredes may perform together at a select event, such as a football game.)

In addition to the new $1,000 scholarships, the university will also offer financial support in the following areas: 

  • Outreach efforts and social change opportunities across all university bands.

  • Expansion of the musical diversity of the bands, including musical repertoire, faculty, and band leadership.

  • “No Cost” band membership, including the elimination of participation and uniform fees. (Fees discourage membership.)

  • Developing a security plan to ensure safety of students at home and away.

  • Continual investment in the upkeep of instruments, uniforms and other essential items.

  • Funds to maintain the scholarship of any rising senior in 2021-22 who wishes to opt out of the Longhorn Band.

Expectations and support for the Longhorn Bands and students who participate:

  • Students will continue to be admitted to all bands by audition.

  • The Longhorn Band will continue to perform at university events, sporting events and high-profile functions. 

  • The Longhorn Band will continue to be an academic for-credit course (two hours) through the Butler School. 

  • Longhorn Band and Longhorn Pep Band will have a required repertoire that includes traditional university selections such as the university alma mater and fight song.

Expectations and support for the University Bands and students who participate:

  • Under the University Bands umbrella, the Butler School will increase the band options to provide students individual choices for study, participation and performance.
  • This plan includes increased financial support of University Bands, including the stabilization and growth of Mariachi Paredes as well as the creation of a new, appropriately funded “to be named” University Band, which will be developed with student participation in the coming year.
  • Some University Bands will have a required repertoire, depending on the curriculum, and some with options to participate in traditional university-specific music.
  • Recognizing that the new University Band option will begin fall 2022, we will maintain the same merit scholarship support for rising seniors who opt out of performing in Longhorn Band

As part of their mission, The University of Texas Bands seek to foster the highest level of music making, music learning and musical experience for performers and audiences alike. These changes are designed to put the bands on solid footing for generations to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the registration options for Longhorn and University Bands be clearly stated in the catalog?

Registration and academic credit hours for all bands remain the same. The “to be named" University Band option will be available in fall 2022.

What are all of the band options?

  • The Longhorn Band – The historical band will continue to perform at university events, sporting events and high-profile functions, including alumni ceremonies. This band will be the primary ceremonial band for the university, performing an array of music, including university songs. The band will continue to be an academic for-credit course through the Butler School. The band will have a required repertoire that includes traditional university selections such as the university alma mater and fight song.
  • The Longhorn Pep Band – The Pep Band will perform at university sporting events, including basketball and volleyball games and functions. The band will continue to be an academic for-credit course through the Butler School. The band will have a required repertoire that includes traditional university selections such as the university alma mater and fight song.
  • The University Concert Bands – These concert bands, which already exist, are made up of Longhorn Band (LHB) members and non-LHB members.  The bands will have required repertoires that may or may not include traditional university songs.
  • The Longhorn Jazz Ensemble – This already exists and is made up of LHB members and non-LHB members. The Butler School’s jazz program could be a landing spot for more participation, serving students who have demonstrated the necessary musical skills. The ensemble will be an academic for-credit course that will not play the university alma mater or fight song.
  • The Longhorn Percussion Ensemble – This already exists and is made up of LHB members and non-LHB members. The ensemble will be an academic for-credit course that will not play the university alma mater or fight song.
  • The University Color Guard – This already exists and is made up of LHB members and other non-LHB members. During the fall, the Color Guard is a part of the Longhorn Band.
  • The Mariachi Paredes – The growing mariachi program, supported by full-time faculty members, will continue to provide options and opportunities with this unique musical repertoire. The Mariachi Paredes is an academic for-credit course through the Butler School. Mariachi Paredes will not participate in university traditional songs as part of the required repertoire, but will have options for students, with their choosing, to play these songs in special circumstances. 
  • A “to be named” University Band – The new band will be designed for individuals who want to perform in a marching band, with a focus on leading/directing bands and community engagement. The band will be an academic for-credit course through the Butler School beginning in fall 2022 and will not play the university alma mater or the UT fight song. 

Can I be part of more than one band?

Yes. As long as you can fulfill the course requirements, you are able to participate in more than one band. 

What is the difference between the Longhorn Band and the other University Bands?

The Longhorn Band will perform at official university and sporting events and will have a required repertoire that includes traditional university selections such as the university alma mater and fight song.

The University Bands will have opportunities to perform at official university and sporting events and other venues. The bands will have required repertoires that do not include traditional university songs.

Is the Longhorn Band the only group receiving scholarships? 

No. Our goal is to provide scholarships for members across the performance bands: Longhorn Band, Longhorn Pep Band, Mariachi Paredes and the “to be named” University Band.

Can I lose my current scholarship if I choose not to be in the Longhorn Band?

No. Any rising senior with a scholarship will maintain the scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

If I enroll in more than one band (Longhorn Band, Longhorn Pep Band, Mariachi Paredes or the "to be named" University Band), am I eligible for multiple scholarships?

Yes.

If I'm in a University Band, will I still have the opportunity to perform at sporting events/venues?

Yes. Some University Bands will have opportunities to perform at university events, including sporting events. Also, we expect to offer opportunities to co-perform and create collaborative themed appearances with the Longhorn Band. (e.g. Longhorn Band invites the Mariachi Paredes to join in performance at a select event, such as a football game.)

Were students consulted on this approach?

Yes. During the previous six months, students have worked closely with leadership to identify areas of opportunity for the Longhorn Band to continue to grow, evolve and change in order to restore its historical glory. In response, the College of Fine Arts, Butler School and University Bands leadership developed this approach, which President Hartzell approved.

How will the university increase diversity among all the bands?

The university is committed to fund development and expansion of a more diverse student and faculty membership, including focused outreach and recruiting programs, increased scholarship offers, and diversifying the repertoire across bands.

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