UT band alumnus apologizes for letter backing director - WSMV Channel 4

UT band alumnus apologizes for letter backing director

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Members of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band perform during pre game activities around Neyland Stadium. Photo by Michael Patrick/News Sentinel Members of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band perform during pre game activities around Neyland Stadium. Photo by Michael Patrick/News Sentinel
KNOXVILLE (News Sentinel) -

One day after sending a letter of support for University of Tennessee band director Gary Sousa, a member of the band alumni board sent an apology to Chancellor Jimmy Cheek saying he never expected a "public onslaught of ill will and accusations" that started with Sousa, records show.

Dr. William Burkhart, a physician with Summit Medical Group in Knoxville, sent a letter to Chancellor Jimmy Cheek on Oct. 8, one day after the alumni board met with Sousa. Burkhart wrote that the alumni board shared Sousa's concerns over limited band travel and the use of "canned music" in the stadium.

"On more than two occasions during the UT/Georgia game, incessant blaring and indecipherable rap music played at the same time the Pride (of the Southland band) attempted to play in support of the team," Burkhart wrote. "Band members themselves are very discouraged and were left wondering if their presence is needed at all."

Read more from our news partners at the Knoxville News Sentinel.


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