AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Longhorn Band at the University of Texas at Austin will not be performing alma mater “The Eyes of Texas” during the school’s final home football game, according to a UT statement shared with KXAN News on Thursday.
UT will use loud speakers to play the song at the final game on Nov. 27 instead of the band, said Fine Arts dean Doug Dempster in the statement originally shared with the Austin American-Statesman. The university had played the song without the band in previous games after band members objected due to the song’s racist history.
“Longhorn Band members continue to discuss the issue of ‘The Eyes of Texas’ among themselves and with university leaders, and these discussions remain unresolved,” Dempster said. “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.”
The song is based on a phrase adapted from former Confederate general Robert E. Lee. UT spirit group the Texas Cowboys used the song along with blackface at minstrel shows until 1964. In early October, president Jay Hartzell created a committee made up of staff and students in order to help contextualize the history of the song.