KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Donald Ryder, director of the University of Tennessee “Pride of the Southland” Marching Band will put down his baton at the end academic year. Ryder, the 10th director in the band’s 129-year history, will officially retire on June 1, 2022.

“I am very grateful and blessed for the years I have been here at UT,” Ryder told WATE.

Ryder has taught for 28 years, including 23 at Tennessee.

The marching band has been performing at Tennessee football games since 1902.

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