Say Goodbye to Live Music at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

By  | 


On January 13th, one tradition will end during the 2017 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. After 100 years, a live orchestra will not play while horses and riders enter the Will Rogers Memorial Center during the Grand Entry.

The 20-piece orchestra that usually accompanies the instantly recognizable scene was recently notified that they will not be booked for next year’s event. Instead, pre-recorded music will usher in the riders and animals.

The director of the orchestra, Rick Stitzel, told the Star-Telegram that the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo “presented as [a] matter of fact” that they would not need their services next year.

The orchestra’s contract used to last for four years at a time, but Stitzel says, “Last year, we sat down with the same proposal — management told us they wanted to give us no raise and a one-year deal. That was the first time ever it had been a one-year contract.”

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo says that it certainly wasn’t an easy choice to make, but they had to keep costs in mind. Though in an event filled with tradition, the pre-recorded music won’t please many visitors who value live music and the 100-year-old custom of a present orchestra.