A Higher Education

UT Austin president says controversial school song will continue

UT Austin president says controversial school song will continue

Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium at night football Longhorns
The song will be played at the upcoming Texas-Baylor football game, the president said. Photo courtesy of Texas Football

KVUE — According to a message to band members obtained by the University of Texas student publication The Daily Texan, the Longhorn Band will reportedly not attend the football game versus Baylor.

The message sent to band members reportedly stated that after an internal survey was given asking whether members would play “The Eyes of Texas,” it was revealed that there was a lack of “necessary instrumentation.”

“Based on (survey responses), we do not have the necessary instrumentation, so we will not participate in Saturday’s game,” Longhorn Band Director Scott Hanna said in the message, according to the report.

KVUE reached out to UT for comment and was told the following:

"We are continuing to work with students in the Longhorn Band to maintain the musical traditions of The University of Texas, including 'The Eyes of Texas.'”

As Doug Dempster, dean of the College of Fine Arts, said on October 6, "A range of well-informed convictions on this issue need to be considered respectfully as conscientious and honorable. But given the long-standing traditions and mission of a university spirit band, this disagreement needs to be resolved before the Longhorn Band can return to public performance."

A look at Dempster's full statement is found on the university's "key issues" page.

On the night of Wednesday, October 21, UT President Jay Hartzell released the following statement, saying the song will be played at the game regardless:

"The Eyes of Texas will be played this weekend as it has been throughout this season – and it will continue to be played at future games and events. While we would love the band to be with our fans at all our games, we never planned for them to perform live this Saturday. We knew this summer that, as we make our campus a more welcoming place, we would face many hard conversations. I remain truly optimistic that we will find ways to join together around our song, which has been so positive for so many Longhorns over the past 120 years."

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To read the full story, head to KVUE News.