UT’s Longhorn Band was recently ranked No. 7 of the 35 Great College Marching Bands, compiled by Great Value Colleges, a website dedicated to helping students find the best education for their money.
Longhorn Band director Scott Hanna said although these rankings are quite subjective, they are still appreciated by himself and the band.
“It’s very nice to have publicity mentioning us in a positive way,” Hanna said. “Being included in a list with a lot of other terrific college bands is a wonderful thing.”
According to the site, the bands were ranked based on a point system that took four criteria into account.
The “Hollywood Affiliation” category referred to performances related to Hollywood in ways like movie appearances or celebrity participation. The Longhorn Band may have earned points here for its appearances on the soundtrack of the “My All American” movie, Hanna said.
“It was great to not only have our music featured, but also to have the band represented in the movie,” Hanna said.
The “Awards and Recognition” category granted two points for each international accolade and one point for each national accolade the band has received. The Longhorn Band has been awarded many of these, including the Louis Sudler Intercollegiate Marching Band Trophy for the best collegiate marching band in the nation in 1986.
The band may have earned points in the “Historic Relevance” criterion for its performances at several presidential inaugurations, in addition to historical references and tributes incorporated into its shows, Hanna said.
The final point category, “Other Recognition,” offered one point for the band’s inclusion on other rankings, performance videos gone viral, and facts about the band that have become common knowledge.
The Longhorn Band received 11 total points according to these criteria. Great Value Colleges cited features such as Big Bertha, a drum measuring eight feet in diameter, 41 inches wide and over 10 feet high, as being especially impressive.
Biochemistry freshman Abhishek Yedugondla said the ranking is well-deserved.
“They deserve more recognition,” Yedugondla said. “I remember that I went to a game once and they were playing their instruments under their ponchos...they’re really dedicated.”
Sydney Rodriguez, a history and UTeach junior, said she’s proud to represent the student body as a member of the band, especially because of the support the band receives.
“Our fans are members of our already very large family,” Rodriguez said. “That’s something I don’t believe many other bands can identify with.”