OU Band Members Take Out Full Page Ad In Papers

Saturday, October 18th 2014, 6:32 pm
By: News 9

Homecoming week at OU usually means a lot of attention on the football game.

But some of the attention is now on the marching band after current band members put a full page ad in several newspapers.

They said they want band director gone.

The Pride of Oklahoma has gone from halftime show to page five by writing a full page letter to the University President to restore the pride in the band.

"If they couldn't get anybody to listen to them, if they really need to be heard, I don't see as if they had a choice," said lifelong OU fan Vivian Mitchell.

At the games, lifelong Sooner fan Vivian Mitchell heard the Pride of Oklahoma loud and clear. But as of late she noticed something was off.

"I love the pride. I've always loved the pride, but I have not been happy with it at all," said Mitchell.

In an open letter to the University President David Boren, several current members of the band were just as unhappy as Sooner Viv.

They called for the band director, Dr. Justin Stolarik, to be fired stating "very few people would be upset with (the hiring) of a more competent director."

Members also wrote they are "tired of being ignored" because the band is turning into a "dictatorship."

And they added that they "vehemently disagree with the direction of the Pride. It will continue to create an environment of mediocrity and complacency."

Sooner Viv said she knows others fans have noticed that mediocrity.

"A lot of people just act like they're not there and I think that's just sad because we have such a rich tradition," said Mitchell.

So rich, OU grads Kathy and Susan said they don't want to see it off-key.

"I think change is important for everything, our country our universities, but not for the pride of Oklahoma," said OU alumna Kathy Jenkins.

"They need to have a voice," said OU alumna Susan Pacific.

The band ended the letter by stating they are "tired of being embarrassed" and "tired of poor leadership."

A message so strong, one published report stated the band members raised more than $20,000 from alumni to run the letter in newspapers.

"It shows how serious they are, if they truly paid that much money, they're serious," said Jenkins.

Sooner Viv said she just hopes the band's tradition is restored and keeps marching on.

"There's just a lack of pride, just a total lack of pride," said Mitchell.

The letter ran in about six papers in Oklahoma and Texas.