AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas at Austin unveiled the world’s new largest bass drum, Big Bertha II, at the school’s Saturday football game against Iowa State.
Big Bertha II was rolled onto centerfield during the Longhorn Band’s performance and gave her first note, the deepest possible from any bass drum on Earth.
The drum measures over 9.5 feet in diameter and 55 inches wide. It was built by the A&F Drum Co. and contains an integrated, wireless microphone system.
It is the successor to UT’s original Big Bertha, which was made 100 years ago for the University of Chicago. The original Big Bertha was just under 8 feet in diameter and 34.5 inches wide.
“We’re not saying goodbye to Big Bertha, but we felt like her centennial was the perfect time to honor her by moving her to the Hall of Fame,” said Longhorn Band director Cliff Croomes. “We’re excited to introduce Big Bertha II to our fans and to have a new drum that this generation and future generations will be able to enjoy.”
Former Longhorn Band director Moton Crockett purchased the drum for UT in 1954. It traveled with the Longhorn Band to performances across the country and overseas.
Longhorn Band alumni J.P. Kirksey, a caretaker of the original Big Bertha, said he’s happy to see the drum “retire.”
“She is affectionately known as the sweetheart of the Longhorn Band,” Kirksey said. “She’s going to be 100 years old, and she must be tired. She had a good life and made a lot of contributions.”