UF Marching Band to receive prestigious award during halftime show

November 6, 2013

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Marching Band will receive one of the highest honors a collegiate band can receive during the Homecoming football game’s halftime show Saturday.

The Sudler Trophy, made possible by the John Philip Sousa Foundation, is described by a Los Angeles Times reporter as “the Heisman Trophy of the collegiate band world.” The award does not represent the winner of any championship but rather a band surrounded by great tradition that has become respected nationally.

“Being selected as the 2013 recipient of the Sudler Trophy is a historic honor for the Gator Band, and places us in the upper echelon of college marching bands in America. It’s a real tribute to the current and former members who have built the program to its current level of excellence,” said Jay Watkins, band director.

UF President Bernie Machen will be presented with the award by Tim Rhea, director of bands at Texas A&M University and chair of the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Committee. The Sudler family will join Machen on the field for the award presentation and will also be in attendance at Gator Growl on Friday.

Rhea will guest conduct the UF Wind Symphony Band concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in University Auditorium.

With the UF Marching Band program winning the Sudler Trophy, Gainesville now becomes the only city in America with band programs that have won all of the Sudler Awards, including the Sudler Cup (Outstanding Middle School Band, Fort Clarke Middle School), the Sudler Shield and Sudler Flag (Outstanding High School Marching and Concert Bands, Buchholz High School).