The WVU Marching Band is known for its high energy performances, outstanding musical arrangements, and exciting visual presentations. Because of its tradition of excellence, the WVU Band was recognized in 1997 as the country's outstanding collegiate marching band by being named the recipient of the prestigious Sudler Trophy awarded by the John Philip Sousa Foundation.
Often referred to as the Heisman Trophy for college marching bands, the Sudler Trophy, which "recognizes a long standing example of excellence and leadership among college marching band," had only been awarded to a total of 15 other university marching bands at the time of our selection. With this award, the Pride was recognized as 1997's outstanding college marching band and joins a list of previous recipients such as Michigan, Illinois, Ohio State and Texas - representing the nation's finest examples of this activity. It is important to understand that this award is NOT indicative of "winning the national college marching band contest," which would indicate one superb performance.
It is actually much more important because the Sudler Trophy is based on YEARS of outstanding performances - resulting in a tradition of excellence that becomes the normal expectation for the group. That is why requested that our presentation would occur at Homecoming on October 4, 1997. Over the years, many alumni have helped the band obtain the level of excellence it enjoys today. What an awesome sight...700 band people on the field at one time receiving this award. This ceremony was the highlight of the 1997 marching band season and will be remembered indefinitely as a source of pride for our ensemble, University, and State.
|Recipients of the Sudler Trophy|
|1982||University of Michigan||1998||University of Massachusetts|
|1983||University of Illinois||1999||Texas Tech University|
|1984||The Ohio State University||2000||University of Georgia|
|1985||Florida A&M University||2001||Texas A&M University|
|1986||University of Texas at Austin||2002||Louisiana State University|
|1987||University of Oklahoma||2003||University of Alabama|
|1988||Michigan State University||2004||Auburn University|
|1989||Kansas University||2005||Penn State University|
|1990||University of Iowa||2006||University of Arkansas|
|1991||Arizona State University||2007||Indiana University|
|1992||Northwestern University||2008||Not Awarded|
|1993||UCLA||2009||Western Carolina University|
|1994||James Madison University||2011||University of Notre Dame|
|1995||Purdue University||2013||University of Florida|
|1996||University of Nebraska||2015||Kansas State University|
|1997||West Virginia University|