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US University of Texas Creating Separate Band That Won't Perform 'The Eyes of Texas' After Backlash

01:45  23 april  2021
01:45  23 april  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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Removing “ The Eyes of Texas ” song was not the student’s only demand this past summer. Student-athletes and other groups also insisted UT remove a statue of James Hogg, a prominent segregationist, rename some campus buildings named after Texans who held racist views, and donate 0.5% of the They also pledged to erect statues honoring Black figures in UT-Austin’s history and rename two campus structures, including the Robert L. Moore Building which was named after a UT mathematician who refused to teach Black students. Disclosure: Baylor University , Texas Christian University and

( TEXAS TRIBUNE) – The Longhorn Band will not play the “ The Eyes of Texas ” at this Saturday’s football game between the University of Texas at Austin and Baylor University after a survey of members revealed several students are unwilling to play the traditional alma mater song, according to The Daily Texan . The survey was sent to band members asking if they would be willing to play “ The Eyes ,” a song that has divided the university community in recent months over its ties to minstrel shows where performers wore blackface. The Daily Texan reported that a message sent to band

The University of Texas announced it is creating a separate band for fall 2022 that will not perform its alma mater, "The Eyes of Texas," in response to concerns raised about the song.

a close up of a basketball court in the grass: The Texas Longhorns logo on the field at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium before the game against the Maryland Terrapins on September 2, 2017 in Austin, Texas. © G Fiume/Getty Images The Texas Longhorns logo on the field at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium before the game against the Maryland Terrapins on September 2, 2017 in Austin, Texas.

The university said the Longhorn marching and pep bands will still play the song, while a newly established "to be named" university band will not be required to, after Texas students and athletes raised concerns last year over its lyrics after the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020, according to a news release from the school.

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All students in the Longhorn Band , Longhorn Pep Band , Mariachi Paredes and the newly created University Band will receive a performance scholarship of ,000 with band section leaders receiving a minimum of ,500, according to the release. The university says a scholarship will be honored In October 2020, The Longhorn Band director, Scott Hanna, said an internal survey revealed there weren’ t enough band members willing to play the Eyes of Texas at the upcoming Longhorns football game due to its origins at minstrel shows. The song was played off a recording over the PA system throughout

The survey results reportedly showed the band members evenly divided on playing the school’s more than a 100-year-old theme that many are now calling “racist.” However, the song was canceled because enough members in individual sections of the band came down on the side of canceling the song The survey is only focused on playing the song for this weekend’s game against Baylor University . However, the band has yet to play the tune at all this season. The song, though, will not go unheard during this weekend’s game. UT-Austin President Jay Hartzell announced that a recording of the song

"We need to celebrate and nurture what makes UT special, and the Longhorn Band is one of those great organizations that shape our campus culture, elevate school spirit and provide amazing opportunities for our students," said University of Texas at Austin President Jay Hartzell in the school's announcement.

Originally, Hartzell said that no one would be required to sing the song in a statement on a March 9 report on "The Eyes of Texas" by the university that concluded there was "no racist intent," according to the Associated Press.

The "to be named" university band will be an academic for-credit course, the announcement stated. All students participating in the university's bands, including the newly established one, will receive a performance scholarship of $1,000.

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(CNN) Members of the University of Texas Longhorn band are refusing to play the university 's alma mater because of the song's history of being performed at racist minstrel shows. Earlier this month, the band 's director asked its members to fill out an internal survey asking whether they would be willing to play " The Eyes of Texas will be played this weekend as it has been throughout this season -- and it will continue to be played at future games and events," Jay Hartzell, the university 's president, wrote in a statement. "While we would love the band to be with our fans at all our games, we never planned

The University of Texas Longhorn Band will not perform at the Texas -Baylor football game this weekend due to an apparent lack of members willing to play the school's song, " The Eyes of Texas ." The announcement comes after several team members stood and sang “ The Eyes ” after Texas ’ game against Oklahoma earlier this month, including quarterback Sam Ehlinger. A Change.org petition calling for people to support the quarterback and the song has been signed by more than 9,700 people.

The "Eyes of Texas" was written in 1903 for the purpose of it being the University of Texas' campus song, according to the university's news release.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

The university's recent announcement was sharply criticized by the state chapter of the NAACP.

The roots of "Eyes of Texas" are in early 1900s minstrel shows with musicians often in blackface.

The song has long been a popular fixture at campus events, most notably at football games and other sports events.

The school did not say where or when the newly established band will perform. It will be designed "with a focus on leading/directing bands and community engagement," the school said.

Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas chapter of the NAACP and a Texas law school graduate, sharply criticized the decisions to keep playing the song and create a separate band. He said that will set up the traditional Longhorn Band as a "privileged group."

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The University of Texas band will not perform during the Longhorns’ final two home games this season over internal dispute about “ The Eyes of Texas ” school song. The university had previously said the Longhorn band would not return until there was some final resolution. Enough band members objected to playing the song prior to the last home game against Baylor, so the band was essentially suspended. “There has been no change of status, and the university ’s alma mater will continue to be played from loudspeakers at the game, not by the band ,” Doug Dempster, dean of the College of Fine

A University of Texas report confirms its alma mater’s complicated history but finds ‘no racist intent’. UT President Jay Hartzell established The Eyes of Texas History Committee in October, saying it would LeBron James says tweet about police shooting ‘being used to create more hate’.

"People who exercise their constitutional right to not participate in a racist song, and are therefore denied an opportunity to play in a special band, that's just going to be an issue that's going to have a disparate impact on African-American band members," he said. "It's like telling folks you have to engage in a racist activity and if you don't, you can't be in the band."

The song is sung to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad," and is an old standard in Longhorn country. For decades, it has been sung after games and graduation ceremonies, and is a popular sing-along at weddings and even funerals

It has also been a sore subject for decades for some minority students. The title was taken from a favored saying of a former school president who had reportedly mimicked remarks by Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

In March, the NAACP joined a group of Black state lawmakers and students in criticizing the school report and said they would keep pressing the university to drop it.

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