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Pride of Arizona Marching Band Wins Prestigious Sudler Trophy

The University of Arizona is home to the one of best collegiate marching bands in the country, according to the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The Pride of Arizona Marching Band is the 2024-2026 recipient of the Sudler Trophy, the organization announced Thursday.

The purpose of the Sudler Trophy is to “identify and recognize collegiate marching bands of particular excellence that have made outstanding contributions to the American way of life.” The Sudler Trophy is awarded to a college or university marching band “that has demonstrated the highest musical standards and innovative marching routines and ideas, and which has made important contributions to the advancement of the performance standards of college marching bands over a period of years.”

The award does not represent the winner of any championship, but rather “a band surrounded by great tradition that has become respected nationally.”

“On behalf of the entire Pride and the generations of students and previous directors whose countless accomplishments and achievements made this highest honor possible, I am humbled and honored to accept this award,” said Chad Shoopman, director of athletic bands at UArizona. “It is my great joy to be able to share this recognition with the school, the college, the university and the Tucson community.”

The Sudler Trophy was awarded annually from 1982 to 2007 and has been awarded biannually since then. Out of the thousands of marching band programs in the country, a record-setting 18 bands were nominated for the award. The Pride of Arizona is the 34th marching band to receive the honor, and the third Pac-12 Conference band.

The Pride of Arizona will be in action on Dec. 28 when the No. 14-ranked Wildcats take on No. 12 Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl football game in San Antonio.

Source: Arizona Wild Cats