The University of Notre Dame Band will be presented with the Sudler Trophy at halftime of the Notre Dame vs. Air Force game on Oct. 8 (Saturday) in Notre Dame Stadium.
The Sudler Trophy is considered the Heisman trophy of college bands. The John Philip Sousa Foundation presents the award to “collegiate marching bands of particular excellence that have made outstanding contributions to the American way of life.” The Notre Dame Band joins an elite group of college bands which have won this award, which recognizes both Notre Dame’s historical contributions to college bands and the excellence of the current Notre Dame Band.
The trophy consists of a marble base with a bronze drum major astride a football stadium. The drum major stands 22.5 inches tall, the same measurement as one standard marching step. The trophy is produced by Dieges and Clust, who also make the Heisman Trophy. The Sudler Trophy will be displayed in the Ricci Band Rehearsal Hall at the University of Notre Dame.
The trophy will be presented by Timothy Rhea, director of bands at Texas A&M University and chair of the Sudler Trophy Selection Committee. Receiving the award will be Kenneth Dye, director of bands at Notre Dame, and University president Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C.
Dating back to 1845, the Notre Dame Band is the oldest college band in continuous existence in the United States and was honored as such by being declared a “Landmark of American Music” by the National Music Council and the Indiana Music Educators Association during the 1976 United States Bicentennial.
In addition to a rich history of performing at concerts, campus celebrations and religious ceremonies, the Band of the Fighting Irish has a long tradition of providing music and pageantry for Notre Dame football games and athletic events. The Band was on hand for Notre Dame’s first football game in 1887 and has performed at every home game since then.