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Longhorn Pep Band ‘Brings the Energy’

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Pep Band Big 12

It may be off-season for football, but members of the Longhorn Band are busy energizing fans during March Madness, volleyball season and more as part of Longhorn Pep Band. This group of almost 200 highly spirited students perform at all men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball home games, as well as Big XII and NCAA tournaments and other community events.

Marc Sosnowchik, director of the Longhorn Pep Band, fuels his musicians’ excitement from the moment they express interest in joining. “When students audition, we tell them they are auditioning for the most electrifying pep band in the country,” he says.

UT’s unique band program is unlike most of the country’s major college band programs, which participate only during fall football season. The Longhorn Band and Longhorn Pep Band make up one cohesive year-round band program and the largest spirit organization for UT. In the fall, Longhorn Band members perform at all football games; in the spring, they participate in concert band, jazz ensemble, percussion ensemble or indoor color guard. Marc conducts at all Pep Band performances, assisted by doctor of musical art candidates, who share the responsibility.

“We are always focused on making the student experience better and improving the performance,” says Marc. “We welcome the opportunity to perform with and for other great bands across the country.”

Rock Star Students

Some students who possess a deep love of music are willing to commit their time and energy to participate in both the Pep Band and the Longhorn Band.

As a child growing up in Austin, sophomore Tabor Clifton attended UT football games with her father, Mark Clifton (MIS, ’97), a graduate of the McCombs School of Business. She is proud to play the same trombone he played as a member of the Longhorn Band.

In addition to the extraordinary amount of time Tabor devotes to practicing and participating in almost 30 performances each year, she keeps up her academic coursework and works at the Sanger Learning Center, where she teaches financial accounting to struggling students. She is grateful for several scholarships she has received to attend UT.

“I love Pep Band, and I really cherish how special it is to work together and bring the energy,” says Tabor. “The people around me are like my family. I feel so honored to support the athletes.”

Reaching out to future band members is part of that experience. Each year, Longhorn Band members inspire local band students to follow their musical dreams by hosting them at High School Band Day. The event coincides with the spring Orange and White scrimmage game, which will be held this year on Saturday, April 20. High school students can rehearse with the Longhorn Band, share a meal and perform together in the stands at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Band members also make guest appearances at many popular community events and venues, such as the Austin City Limits festival, the Fiesta Flambeau Parade in San Antonio, SXSW and Circuit of the Americas, and March Around, a mobile pep rally held in the fall on the Drag and at other key spots on campus to spark UT spirit before a big home football game. And while lifting spirits for others, band members can receive a boost of their own.

“Sometimes I feel like a rock star,” says Tabor, “especially in the Longhorn Band. People will take pictures with us and say we look like celebrities. The women’s national championship in 2023 was the most watched volleyball game in the world, and I was on the screen a lot. People kept texting me — ‘Your hair looks so cute!’”


Keep the Band Marching On

Since 1900, the Longhorn Band has used the power of music to unite students, faculty and alumni in a shared sense of pride and enthusiasm for the University. This year, the Showband of the Southwest celebrates its 125th season.

The band relies on donor support to keep the music and the magic happening. You can back the Longhorn Band as they move to the Southeastern Conference alongside Texas Athletics and compete on collegiate sports’ biggest stage. Your gifts will ensure the best band on the field will always be wearing burnt orange. With your help, the band’s endowment can grow to provide permanent funding for scholarships, uniforms, instrument purchase and upkeep, travel, equipment and service awards for all eligible band students.