The Longhorn Band was founded by in 1900 by distinguished professor of chemistry, Dr. Eugene P. Schoch. With Dr. H. E. Baxter, the first director of the Longhorn Band, they purchased $150 worth of instruments from a local pawn shop and recruited 16 students to make up the band. Dr. Baxter served as the director for five years before stepping aside, after which Dr. Schoch took full control of the band. Dr. Schoch stepped down as director after five years, but continued to serve as a chaperone for the band. For the next seven years, the Longhorn Band was run by students.
In 1917, Mr. Burnett “Blondie” Pharr became the director of the Longhorn Band. Pharr developed the young band and led it on a tour through 17 states, performing at the Chicago World’s Fair, Madison Square Garden, and Washington, D.C.. Colonel George E. Hurt became director in 1937. Under his tenure, the Longhorn Band grew to over 200 members. After Col. Hurt suffered a stroke in 1949, Moton Crockett assumed the directorship of the Longhorn Band. In his final year as director, Mr. Crockett oversaw the purchase of the large bass drum that is today known as Big Bertha and affectionately called the “Sweetheart of the Longhorn Band”.