Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Longhorn Band starts fundraising for $75 million endowment

Lorianne Willett
The Longhorn Band performs at the Red River Rivalry game on Oct. 7, 2023.

The Longhorn Band will attempt to raise $75 million in the next year for an endowment fund that will support generations of band members, the University announced Sept. 21. 

The Longhorn Alumni Band is spearheading the Back the Band initiative to support the Longhorn Band Legacy Fund. The fund will be used for travel, uniforms and building maintenance, but its primary function is to provide scholarships for band students.

Students with greater financial needs often have to sacrifice band to focus on academics or work due to the band’s high time commitment, sophomore mellophone player Megan Munsell said.

“We have to be able to recruit and keep really good musicians,” said Kent Kostka, a Longhorn Alumni Band member and trustee. “You get students who are in the band for a couple years, and then they’ll get into upper division coursework. Then, they’re short on money, and they say, ‘I really needed to focus on my senior year. I don’t have time for this.’”

Band funding is also a University priority, according to Kostka. As UT enters the Southeastern Conference, the University wants to ensure the Showband of the Southwest has the support to meet the higher standards that accompany the conference change.

“The band is going to be on TV, and they’re going to be covered by larger audiences,” Kostka said. “There’s a bigger spotlight on them since they’re in a much more prominent athletic conference.”

Band alumni are the biggest contributors to the Longhorn Band Legacy Fund, Kostka said. Many donate to preserve the fond memories they have of their own time in the band for the next generation of longhorns.

“There always seems to be more need for instruments and keeping the music building and band hall up to date,” said Kirsten Davenport, a Longhorn Alumni Band member. “We’ve got a great program and it could be even better.”

The Longhorn Band is a place where students forge lifelong friendships, a trend that spans generations of band students, Kostka said. The time spent traveling together, practicing together and playing together fosters a community alumni are eager to sustain.

“The people that you’re with become your family,” Davenport said. “I have friends from the Longhorn Band back in the 80s, and we’ve maintained our friendships over the years. They’re a family of choice now.”

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.