The Blast Blog

LHAB Archives – The Drum Minor

Jan 16, 2021 | LHAB Archives

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Anyone participating in a marching band is familiar with the role of the Drum Major but have you heard of the “Drum Minor”??  If not then look to the history of the University of Texas Longhorn Band to understand this concept.

Burnett (Blondie) Pharr was the director of the Longhorn Band from 1921 to 1936.  He was a tireless promoter of the band during his tenure as director.  The band performed all over often in conjunction with the Varsity Entertainers.  As part of this cycle of promotion, Blondie had his daughter Gladys Marian Pharr serve as the  “Drum Minor”.  Marian was born on October 13, 1927 in Austin to Blondie and Gladys Pharr.  In 1932, she began her career as Drum Minor at the age of 4 and performed with the Longhorn Band until 1936.  She was outfitted in her own uniform complete with a long baton.  The uniform had a UT Logo with a music lyre featured on the front.

Gladys Marian Pharr age 4

Thanks to Alan Ford for his research on the early history of the Longhorn Band.