The University of Texas Longhorn Alumni Band boasts more than 3,000 members in seven countries.
Every year, more than 500 of those alumni return to Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium to perform again as if the eyes of Texas are upon them.
This year, the Annual Alumni Band Day is Saturday, Oct. 18, and returning members will perform alongside current students in a show highlighting the iconic music and formations made famous during the tenure of Vincent R. DiNino, director of bands emeritus, who died in September.
George Moxley, a member of the Longhorn Alumni Band said he's glad alumni from across the decades are coming together this year to honor DiNino, who "made the Longhorn Band the Showband of the Southwest."
"Longhorn Band itself is a family," Moxley says. "We have people from back in the '30s and '40s who come to these Alumni Band things. You get to meet people from all different eras."
Moxley, who played trumpet in the Longhorn Band from 1968 to 1972, says he gets back into formation each year for the annual alumni performance without too much difficulty.
The key to marching in formation, he says, is to "remember where you're at in the music with where you need to stop. Once you've done it that long, it becomes kind of second nature to you," Moxley says. "We have charts showing us what the formations look like, and we kind of follow the leader."
Longhorn Band Director Robert Carnochan says he's always impressed to see how quickly the Alumni Band members warm up for the performances. It only "takes a few hours" before they're ready to take the field.
"The Alumni Band," Carnochan says, "is an absolutely show of how important the Longhorn Band is to the members who are a part of it."
The Alumni Band doesn't stop supporting the current Longhorn Band when the former students leave the field after annual performances. The group uses an endowment fund to award as much as $50,000 in scholarships to some of the band's current 381 student members.
"They give back," Carnochan says of the Alumni Band. "It's a sign of the great friendships people build."