On May 29 and 30, 2018, The University of Texas (UT) Longhorn Alumni Band hosted the second-ever National Alumni Athletic Band Symposium. Members from each of the 15 attending alumni bands gave an overview of their organizations. Held this year at The University of Texas at Austin, the symposium included sessions on membership recruitment, reunion logistics, and uniforms. Attendees also voted to officially form the National Alumni Bands Association.
The symposium overlapped with the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Athletic Band Symposium to foster the connection between the two groups. The National Alumni Athletic Band Symposium’s attendees were invited as guests to attend the CBDNA Athletic Band Symposium’s opening evening reception.
According to Jo Lyn Tillerson Peters, at the time of the first alumni band symposium in 2015 at the University of Washington, there was no plan in place to hold another, which is why it took three years for another school to take up the mantle and host the second event. After this year, the National Alumni Bands Association hopes that the symposium will become a regular annual or biannual event. Other schools are already hoping to host the next symposium.
Peters is looking forward to this variation in hosts, saying, “This isn’t our show; we’re just hosting our friends.”
The goal of the National Alumni Bands Association will be to create a stronger connection between alumni bands as well as between the alumni bands, student bands, and athletic departments of each school.