Texas A&M’s midnight yell is going virtual for the first home football game weekend.
No one will be allowed inside Kyle Field except A&M’s yell leaders, the Aggie band, the Parsons Mounted Cavalry, reporters, and those involved with the video production.
The public can watch this week’s midnight yell on A&M’s social media and the university’s KAMU-TV.
News release from Texas A&M:
Midnight Yell Practice, the cherished Texas A&M University tradition held before every football game since 1913, will be broadcast live and online from Kyle Field on Sept. 25. Attendance is set and limited to the student groups hosting the event, and no walk-ins are permitted.
The Yell Leaders, Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band and Parsons Mounted Cavalry will lead the event for a virtual audience to kick off the 2020 football season opener against Vanderbilt University. Fans may watch on KAMU-TV and its live stream, or on Texas A&M social media, including Facebook Live, Instagram, YouTube and Periscope.
The Aggies hold Midnight Yell Practice at Kyle Field before every home game and for every away game, usually at a location in or near the city where Texas A&M will play its opponent. It is normally attended by more than 25,000 people.
Only the Yell Leaders, members of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band and Parsons Mounted Cavalry members will be admitted to the stadium along with a small production crew and media pool. These groups will follow SEC stadium safety protocols that protect the visitor’s bench/sideline and post-event cleaning that is required in advance of gameday activities. This includes participants wearing face coverings and practicing physical distancing.
The five Yell Leaders will recite traditional fables and rally for the Aggies to beat Vanderbilt on the field the next day, leading members of the band and cavalry in yells and songs such as the Spirit of Aggieland and the Aggie War Hymn. Cavalry members will fire the group’s 105 Howitzer (a gift from the Class of 2015) at the appointed times.
“While this first Midnight Yell Practice will include essential personnel only, it’s one way we can try to give Texas A&M students the chance to experience one of our most popular events as safely as possible,” said Head Yell Leader Keller Cox, a senior studying construction science. “Broadcasting Yell Practice live will give all of our students, former students and other football fans the chance to feel they are part of the Aggie family and will help build excitement for the season opener.”
The Yell Leaders are discussing options with Texas A&M officials that may allow more students to attend future Midnight Yell Practices this season while still following COVID-19 precautions in Kyle Field.
“For more than 100 years, Yell Leaders have helped to advance a vision of the Spirit of Aggieland, and that stewardship continues today,” said Danny Pugh, vice president for Student Affairs. “Keller Cox, Jacob Huffman, Weston Porter, Mason Graham and Memo Salinas have a vision of what Midnight Yell Practice can be during this pandemic, and it has been a privilege for us to work alongside them to make this happen.
“Strong leaders always find a way to bring their vision to reality,” Pugh said. “To get us to this point, our Yell Leaders built coalitions, identified challenges and created solutions. They know that this first Midnight Yell Practice is the best way to begin working back toward normalcy while keeping students safe.”
Pugh said the Yell Leaders’ vision of expanding to an in-person event for students is conditioned on their ability to showcase safety protocols at the Vanderbilt event. “I believe they will set us on a clear path to include students at future yell practices this season,” he said.