Big Bertha II, the world’s largest bass drum, debuts at the UT Austin-Iowa State game

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas at Austin unveiled the world’s largest bass drum, Big Bertha II, at the school’s Oct. 15 football game against Iowa State.

Big Bertha II was rolled into center field during the Longhorn Band’s performance and delivered its first note, the deepest possible of any bass drum on Earth.

The drum is over 9.5 feet in diameter and 55 inches wide. It was created by A&F Drum Co. and contains an integrated wireless microphone system.

It is the successor to UT’s original Big Bertha, which was made 100 years ago for the University of Chicago. The original Big Bertha was just under 8 feet in diameter and 34.5 inches wide.

“We won’t be saying goodbye to Big Bertha, but we feel her centennial is the perfect time to honor her by moving her into the Hall of Fame,” said Longhorn Band Director Cliff Crooms. “We are excited to introduce Big Bertha II to our fans and have a new drum that this generation and generations to come will be able to enjoy.”

Former Longhorn Band director Moton Crockett purchased the drum for UT in 1954. He traveled with the Longhorn Band to performances across the country and abroad.

Longhorn Band alumni JP Kirksey, keeper of the original Big Bertha, says he’s happy to see the drum “retired.”

“She’s affectionately known as the darling of the Longhorn Band,” Kirksey said. “She will be 100 years old and she must be tired. She had a good life and made a lot of contributions.”

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