Presented by the John Philip Sousa Foundation, the Sudler Trophy is known as the “Heisman Trophy of the collegiate band world.” It is awarded every other year to a college or university marching band that has:
- demonstrated the highest musical standards and innovative marching routines.
- has made important contributions to the advancement of the performance standards of college marching bands over a number of years.
“We have long known that our marching band is one of the finest in the country, but this recognition from the Sousa Foundation is truly special,” said Adam Gumble, WCU’s newly appointed Director of Athletic Bands. “We want to thank our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and fans for their unyielding support of our program.”
Since the award’s inception in 1982, WCU’s marching band is the first from a Division II school to be named as a recipient. The Incomparable Golden Rams now join the ranks of esteemed marching bands from top Division I schools, including Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, and many others.
Last fall, the Incomparable Golden Rams were chosen to perform at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, where they performed in Lucas Oil Stadium in front of tens of thousands of spectators.
“It has been a big year for the Incomparable Golden Rams,” said Christopher Hanning, Dean of WCU’s Wells School of Music. “Adam’s appointment as our new Director of Athletic Bands, the band’s appearance at the BOA Grand Nationals, and now the Sudler Trophy have all made this a year of widespread recognition for this remarkable program. We are very proud.”