OU band has their ‘pride’ back under veteran director

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NORMAN, Okla. - After the Pride of Oklahoma's band director decided to move on, members anxiously awaited who would replace their mentor.

When Dr. Justin Stolarik took control of the band, members started to speak out.

“We are not learning from Dr. Stolarik,” Michael Boyd told NewsChannel 4 in 2013. “We are being taught nothing.”

For months, band members organized meetings with OU administrators but nothing seemed to be done.

They claimed Stolarik's routines were destroying their renowned tradition.

"The band has always been known for being really great and the precision and everything, it just didn’t have the same spark as it did before," said Debbie Lack, a Sooner fan.

In October, the students published a full-page ad in newspapers across the state, calling for Stolarik to be replaced.

A week later, he resigned.

David Boren, the president of the University of Oklahoma, brought back Brian Britt.

Britt held the spot as the Pride's band director for 12 years before leaving the post.

His mission was simple; to get the band marching to the traditional beat.

"You could just feel the energy in that room, everybody was just so excited when he came in. I think we did a standing ovation for like five minutes until Boren was like, 'Okay, let's get started," said Graham Biggs.

Biggs says Britt got them back in shape quickly.

"We’ve gotten so much more accomplished in two weeks time than I think we had in the entire season prior," said Biggs. "I think fans can definitely expect the Pride to show up in all its glory that it used to be."

Members say it is a totally different band, but one Sooner fans can relate to immediately.

"I think we're going to see a different band today, totally, with their spirit and I think they’re going to be excited to show us what they can do now," said Lack.

"You can expect a great performance from the Pride of Oklahoma. You can expect us to play with full energy, full sound and rile the crowd up just as you’re used to, but you can also expect us to play the original pregame and to entertain the crowd just as we have in the past," said Biggs.

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