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

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Longhorn Singers: Harmonizing Tradition and Community at UT Austin

For over 60 years, Longhorn Singers have upheld a rich network of alumni, tradition and — of course — music.

In this episode, Audio Producer Joseph Sweeney talks to LHS members to learn about what it means to be in, as some refer to it, UT’s premier show choir.

Reported and produced by Joseph Sweeney. Cover photo courtesy of Claire Eastman.


Nat:Back to music” 


*cue LHS rendition of Loveshack by the B-52s*


Joseph Sweeney: For over 60 years, Longhorn Singers, commonly referred to as LHS, have upheld a rich network of alumni, tradition and of course, music. 


Shack of love, shack, shack of love…


Sweeney: So much so that some even refer to them as the premier show choir at the University of Texas at Austin. 


Claire Eastman, LHS President: It’s something that I love to do, even though it won’t be something career-wise that I do anymore. It’s just my biggest passion, biggest hobby outside of that, that really just brings me so much joy. I just love to do it.


Sweeney: That’s Claire Eastman, LHS President and social work junior. Eastman said choir has been a constant in her life since elementary school, and now, she’s spent the past two years leading the 40 students that make up Longhorn Singers. 


Where we can get together”


Sweeney: And while the music is what brings them together, only a small number of LHS members study the fine arts field. 


Eastman: You can have a ton of background or not a ton of background and as long as you’re committed, we want you to audition. 


From the top


Sweeney: When they’re not busy preparing for one of their big end of semester performances or Valentine’s Day fundraiser, the group stays busy performing at retirement homes, children’s hospitals and other events around the UT campus. 


Maybe I’ll love you


Sweeney: For social and traditions chair Waverli Almand, joining LHS not only meant a return to performing, but also a return to normalcy.


Waverli Almand, LHS Social & Traditions Chair: COVID was so isolating coming in as a freshman and like all of my classes being online and not like knowing anyone. Not only did I miss actually liking the music, but I also missed that sense of community. And when I joined LHS, it was like I’d found it again.


Sweeney: And speaking of community, the Longhorn Singers alumni network is yet another benefit Choreographer Page Montgomery says LHS members get to enjoy. 

Page Montgomery, LHS Choreographer: There’s so many alumni, it’s crazy. We’ll go to some of our like gigs and stuff and there will be random people that are like, ‘Oh, I was in this group like 20 years ago.’

Sweeney: LHS Member Shannon Perry says this network goes back to 1958 with the ensemble’s founding by Dr. Morris Beachy.

Shannon Perry, LHS Member: “he was the director of the School of Music at the time, and there was the Men’s Glee Club and the Women’s Glee Club, and he wanted to combine them both to form Longhorn Singers.” 

The closer I get to you

Sweeney: And despite the many iterations the group has gone through in its 66 year history, Almand says that the core sense of music and community have forever remained a constant. 

Almand: “The group changes every semester, basically, but we’ve always been a show choir, and we always have performed at UT for sporting events or things like that. The heart of the group is the same throughout the decades. We’re singers that are also friends and that’s really the main characteristic, you know.”

I’m going home to the place where I belong and where love has always been enough for me

Sweeney: This episode was reported and hosted by me, Joseph Sweeney. If you liked this episode, make sure you subscribe to The Daily Texan Podcasts on your streaming platform of choice and follow us on Twitter @texanaudio. Thank you for listening.

So I’m going home

More to Discover