By Emily Saunders
Alumni Weekend holds a special place in the hearts of many members of the Longhorn Band. Some get to march with old friends, some with parents, aunts, uncles, or even grandparents. And while not all of us are related by blood to members of Alumni Band, we all share a bond that transcends family ties: a bond of love for and dedication to the Longhorn Band. Hearing stories from people who were in the band thirty years ago that had the same experiences as we have is nothing short of surreal. It is easy to forget how long the Longhorn Band has been around; when we're in it, it seems as though our years in the band are all that matters. But every year we are reminded that this band has touched the lives of thousands of people across the nation and the world, and this weekend we were fortunate enough to share the field with one of those thousands.
The weekend kicked off as it always does at Scholz Garden, where the active sisters of Tau Beta Sigma (as well as many prospective sisters) helped to set up and run the alumni rehearsal, along with the brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi. The ladies of Beta Gamma set up the rehearsal room, sorted out merchandise and name tags, and helped facilitate check in as the crowds of excited alumni began pouring in. There was plenty of logistic work to be done, as the rehearsal was attended by hundreds of alumni members looking to get ready for the big marching rehearsal the next day! It was so fantastic for our sisters to see the wide variety of people who come to Austin for Alumni Weekend, and the common bond that ties us all together, regardless of graduation year, instrument, or affiliation!
The next day saw the Bubble filled to the brim with band members of all ages as we prepared together for halftime. It was especially exciting for TBS to see women from generations back rocking their TBS letters as they marched along to the classic sounds of the Alumni Band performing March Grandioso and the March of the Longhorns. We as a chapter are so lucky to have such a long and proud history of service to the band, and it is easy to see on Alumni Band day. A lot has changed since Tau Beta Sigma first came to the Longhorn Band, but our core principles of music, service, and sisterhood are as special to us today as they were in 1957 when our chapter began.
The Alumni Band halftime show never fails to wow the crowd in DKR. There is nothing quite like seeing an six hundred member strong army of orange vests execute such a classic show to the traditional sounds of the Longhorn Band, and when the current members curled on to join them, filling out the already full ranks, the energy in the stadium was palpable. When the "hey, up!" was called and the Eyes started ringing out into the stadium, it was easy to see how special our band is. I could feel the love of a hundred and sixteen years of band members filling up our sound, and with a thousand musicians playing their hearts out, I'm sure they could feel it all across Texas.
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