UGA football fans will no longer hear “Tara’s Theme” played by the Redcoat Band.
One of the staples of a UGA football experience is hearing the award-winning Redcoat Band playing during the game, as well as pregame and postgame.
One of their signature pieces was “Tara’s Theme” from the motion picture Gone With the Wind. However, that composition has now been removed from the Redcoat Band repertoire.
In an announcement by the Redcoat Band’s acting director, Brett Bawcum, it was stated that “Tara’s Theme” would no longer be performed by the band, and instead would be replaced by one of their signature pieces, “Georgia on my Mind”.
The letter to all band members, alumni, and friends was posted on Twitter, prompting a story by ESPN.
The film Gone With the Wind has come under considerable fire lately in light of the anti-racism movement in the U.S., even being temporarily pulled by the HBO Max streaming service. “Tara’s Theme” is a grandiose, sweeping melody that accompanied the movie and was the motif surrounding the Georgia plantation called “Tara” in the story.
The decision to end the Max Steiner composition from being played by the Redcoat Band was something that had been under discussion for months, according to Bawcum. The recent social movement prompted him to go ahead with the move. “I value tradition, but I value creating a welcoming environment much more.” he wrote.
In the grand scheme of things, not only was “Tara’s Theme” viewed as unwelcoming to black Redcoat Band members and their families, but it truly had no real tie-ins to the university other than the movie’s story being set in the state of Georgia. The only real “tradition” in question was the fact that it had been performed by the band for many years.
Reaction to the decision from fans has ranged from support and praise, to outright anger and threats of boycotting.