Big Bertha

Big Bertha became the "SWEETHEART OF THE LONGHORN BAND" in 1955. Now over 90 years old, her dimensions (eight feet in diameter, fifty-four inches wide, and over 10 feet high when mounted on her carriage) make Bertha a focal point at public appearances.

Bertha was created by C.G. Conn, Ltd., for the University of Chicago, and began her long and famous career at the Princeton-Chicago football game on October 23, 1922. When the University of Chicago dropped varsity football, the band was also disbanded and Bertha went into seclusion for a number of years. It was when a movie about the life of the great John Philip Sousa was to be made that Bertha made her comeback. She was offered a role in the film, "Stars and Stripes." Then, in 1955, Colonel D. Harold Byrd, a long-time benefactor of the Longhorn Band, purchased Bertha from the University of Chicago and gave her a new and glorious home in the heart of Texas. Mr. Moton Crockett, former Director of the Longhorn Band, constructed a special trailer for her storage and transportation. Today, Bertha can be seen in her permanent home in the north end zone concourse of DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium. For her performances at football games, she is escorted by a group known as the "Bertha Crew".

During the spring and summer of 1998, Mr. Crockett headed an effort by Kappa Kappa Psi and the Longhorn Alumni Band to renovate Big Bertha. She received a fresh paint job, newly chromed clamps and screws, and a new set of eight-foot Remo drumheads. As she closes in on her 100th year, Big Bertha stands tall, booms loud, and proudly exhibits a storied and colorful history.