Marching Southerners Presented Sudler Trophy 

press release from merit pages

Given to one collegiate marching band every two years, the Sudler Trophy is the band equivalent of winning the Heisman Trophy. JSU is the smallest university ever to win the trophy since the awards program was created 40 years ago. Contributed photo

JACKSONVILLE, AL (11/14/2022)– The John Phillip Sousa Foundation presented the famed JSU Marching Southerners the prestigious Sudler Trophy at halftime during the Gamecocks final home football game of the season on Nov. 12. Given to one collegiate marching band every two years, the award is the equivalent of winning the Heisman Trophy and JSU is the smallest university ever to win since the awards program was created 40 years ago.

Recipients included:

  • Will Bowick of Monroe (30655), Trumpet Section
  • Chettney Carr of loganville (30052), Ballerinas Section
  • Brody Lindsey of Monroe (30655), Trombone Section
  • Madison Smith of Monroe (30655), Guard Section

“This award is a culmination of all the hard work and dedication of past members and directors dating back to the founding of The Southerners and Marching Ballerinas in 1956,” said Dr. Ken Bodiford, director of bands. “It is truly an honor to share this accomplishment with our entire band and university family.”

Established in 1982, the Sudler Trophy recognizes collegiate marching bands of particular excellence that have made outstanding contributions to the American way of life. It is awarded biannually to a college or university marching band that has demonstrated the highest musical standards, the most innovative marching routines and ideas, and has made important contributions to the advancement of college marching band performance standards.

“Since first witnessing a performance by the JSU Marching Southerners in the late 1970s, I have been a fan,” said Bob Buckner, retired band director of Western Carolina University. “Their strong tradition, musicianship and overwhelming sound have brought thrills to countless students and audiences throughout the Southeast. Being awarded the Sudler Trophy is a tremendous tribute for any collegiate band and is an honor that places them among a highly distinguished list of previous winners of the award. Nothing is more American than a great marching band and no bands that I know are more accomplished or deserving than The Marching Southerners.”

Learn more about the Marching Southerners at

About Jacksonville State University: Founded in 1883 as a state teachers college, Jacksonville State University has grown from humble beginnings into the Alabama regional university with the highest percentage of accredited programs. Located in the Appalachian foothills midway between Birmingham and Atlanta, JSU offers more than 150 courses of study, including over 40 online programs, at the undergraduate and graduate level. To learn more, visit, call 1-800-231-JAX1 or e-mail

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