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Moton H. Crockett, Jr. and Martha Crockett Endowment for Big Bertha

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Moton Crockett and Big Bertha
Moton Crockett and Big Bertha

The Moton H. Crockett, Jr. and Martha Crockett Endowment for Big Bertha was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on February 11, 2011, to benefit the University of Texas Butler School of Music. Gift funds were provided by Mr. Moton H. Crockett, Jr.

Moton Crockett
Moton Crockett

Moton H. Crockett was born in Los Angeles but relocated to Austin before his first birthday. In Austin he became an active member of marching bands in the city’s public schools. He accomplished this at both the University Junior High School and Austin High School, achieving the rank of drum major at Austin High. The Longhorn Band was on his schedule in the fall of 1941. In 1942, Crockett met Martha Sanders while they were studying accounting for their BBA degrees. They married and had one son and one daughter. He then took a break from his studies in 1943 to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corp. After the war, Crockett returned to the Longhorn Band. Colonel George E. Hurt was the director of the band at that time, and after several years Crockett became the drum major. Later he became the assistant director.

In December of 1949, Colonel Hurt had a severe medical problem and could no longer direct the band. Crockett became the Longhorn Band’s director and served until the spring of 1955. A year prior, in December of 1954, the C.G. Conn Company of Elkhart, Indiana sold Crockett “Big Bertha,” the Longhorn Band’s big drum, for one dollar. After completely refinishing the 31-year-old drum, it was then presented to the Longhorn Band’s new director, Vincent R. Di Nino, in 1955. Since bringing “Big Bertha” to the University, Crockett has become the one most responsible for its maintenance.

Crockett earned his BBA in 1947, a BA in Mathematics in 1951, and a B.Mus. in 1953. The Crockett family are all UT graduates and Texas Exes Life Members.

On September 10, 1994, Moton was honored by having his first name spelled out from one goal line to the other in Texas Memorial Stadium at halftime when UT played Louisville. He directed more than 900 musicians that day in the combined Alumnus and Longhorn Bands. They played “The Eyes of Texas.”

UT vs. Louisville at halftime, September 10, 1994.
UT vs. Louisville at halftime, September 10, 1994.

Moton and Martha Crockett created this endowment for the continued use and maintenance of “Big Bertha” and other instruments of the Longhorn Band.


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