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Watch the 2024 Worldwide Muster Roll Call for the Absent on Muster Live

Former students sound taps at Houston Muster

Susan "Sue" Owen '94 July 19, 2019 4:52 PM updated: April 16, 2024 11:13 AM

To highlight the wide range of Aggie Musters, we covered six local Musters in April 2019 for a story in Texas Aggie magazine. Read the series:


There are eight or more Musters every year in the Houston area, which has the largest population of Aggies outside College Station.

Particularly if April 21 falls on a weekday, there’s a need for Musters to be held in numerous locations so thousands of Aggies have a chance at reaching them in the post-workday traffic of the nation’s fourth-largest city.

Among these Musters, the largest and most central is the one held by the Houston A&M Club.
It’s free to attend; there is a Muster speaker, but no meal. More than 1,000 usually attend.

And it has its own beautiful and distinct traditions.

As hundreds file in to the Bayou City Event Center, they find a seat or table. Some take pictures with the four A&M cadets who drove down from Aggieland to serve as the ceremony’s color guard. Others make for the “Muster Family Check-In” tables to receive the candle they will hold for their loved one.

Club president Todd Randolph ’93 welcomes the crowd and thanks sponsors and donors for keeping this Muster and other Club events free of cost. “We’re the largest club in the country and we have no dues,” he says. “But shamelessly, if you’ve seen the fishbowls around the room…” The crowd laughs; many of them have already chipped in to the donation bowls.

Randolph describes upcoming events and invites volunteers to help with Memorial Day flags at Houston’s National Cemetery—both placing the flags, and then coming back a week later to pick them up. “The first weekend is probably the one that gives you the most feels, but the second one is when they need you most.”

For the ceremony itself, the huge ballroom is darkened. Family photos are projected on giant screens as the names are read.

Amid the crowd of hundreds, as each name is called, somewhere in the room one person stands and lights their candle as voices answer “Here.” 

Slowly, the collection of flickering lights grows to more than 150 throughout the darkened space.

Then, Silver Taps begins to play—but the bugle notes are live, not recorded.

Outside the ballroom, three former students standing in the entryway play the slow, deliberate arrangement three times. Each is a former Aggie bandsman.

And though the buglers are unseen, the silver notes are clearly heard by all within.

  • Volunteer at a Muster:
  • You can place a name on the Muster Roll year-round:
  • Hundreds of Musters were held last year. Was one near you?
  • Most Aggies’ names are not called on campus. Learn where your loved one or friend can be called:
  • The Association provides many services for Aggies hosting Musters - a speakers bureau and sample
  • speeches; Muster songs, poems and videos; help in publicizing your event and more. Get started:

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