The Sudler Shield

An International Award Recognizing High School, Youth, and International Marching Bands of World Class Excellence

The Sudler Shield Award is endowed by Louis and Virginia Sudler

The JPSF Sudler Shield Jury has voted unanimously to cancel our nomination / evaluation / selection activities for 2020 due to COVID-19.  We plan to resume our Sudler Shield nomination / evaluation / selection activities in 2021.

2019 Sudler Shield Winners:

Small School Division: Mineola High School Band from Mineola, Texas - Chris Brannan, Director

Large School Division: Large School Division - Vandegrift High School Band from Austin, Texas - Mike Howard, Director

In November of 2016, a Small High School Category was added to the Sudler Shield International Marching Band Award. The John Philip Sousa Foundation is adding this category to recognize the exemplary teaching being done at the small school level. To be considered for this award, the marching band must be a 9-12 grade high school, enrollment of the high school must be 1099 students or below (if other grades are used (pulled up), the school enrollment of those grades must also be included in the 1099 count). The enrollment must be verified by the high school principal’s signature at the time of this application. All other application requirements for the Sudler Shield will be used in determining recipients of this prestigious new award.


1. To establish and support international standards of excellence in musical performance, marching execution, choreography, and show design for high school, youth, or international marching bands.
2. To identify, recognize, and honor outstanding high school, youth, and international marching bands who are at a world class level of excellence. 


1. The award is open to any high school, youth, or international marching band in any country regardless of geographical location, religious or political belief, race, color, or ethnic background.

2. Nominations will be received from any source, and at any time, by the Sousa Foundation. The deadline for submitted materials to be received (not postmarked) is the first Friday in December.

3. The Sudler Shield Jury (after viewing videos and supporting materials submitted by the nominees) will make the selection(s).

4. Materials to be submitted:

a) A properly executed nomination form

b) One (high camera preferred, but not required) high quality DVD from the current (nomination) school year
) One or two page resume or fact sheet of the marching band (no notebooks please).

5. There is no entry fee.

6. The current marching band director must have been incumbent in his/her present position as marching band director for the past five years preceding the year of nomination. The marching band may be nominated during the sixth year of the director’s tenure.

7. The DVD performance should be of a field show performed on a regulation American or Canadian football field, on a European soccer field, or in an appropriate indoor venue. The area of performance should be one that is accepted as a standard marching band facility in the home venue of the nominated band.

8. A previous Sudler Shield recipient may not re-apply unless there is a new director. The new director must have been in his/her position for a minimum of five years (see number 6 above).

9. The recorded performance must have taken place during the calendar year in which the DVD is submitted. It must be a continuous recording, of a single performance, without editing. The minimum duration of the performance is six minutes. The maximum length of the performance is twelve minutes. For timing purposes, the performance will start whenever the band begins either its music or movement on the field. A specific performance recording (DVD) may not be submitted more than once.

10. All members of the nominated band must be regularly enrolled students in the high school or regular members of the youth band as it is organized.

11. The jury will evaluate nominations at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic (Chicago, Illinois, USA) each December. Award winners will be advised as soon as possible after the selection by telephone or email.

12. There is no specific number of marching bands to be honored each year. However, the highest standards of excellence will be in effect during the selection process and only qualified bands will be selected.

13. Nomination forms may be obtained by writing Professor W. Dale Warren at the address list below or via his email:

14. All nomination forms, DVD's, and other materials should be received (not postmarked) by the first Friday in December. Please send to:

Professor W. Dale Warren, Sudler Shield Chairman, Senior Wind Band Conductor
, University of Arkansas, 
205 Lewis E. Epley Band Building, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701

15. DVD's and other materials submitted may not be returned at the option of the Sousa Foundation. The applicant grants the Sousa Foundation the privilege of making a copy of its DVD for the Foundation. The applicant agrees that the Sousa Foundation will not be held responsible or liable for loss or damage to the materials or to the DVD.


1.The Sudler shield award will consist of (1) a silver shield mounted on a handsome 8X11 inch (or larger) wooden plaque for the organization, (2) a miniature plaque for the director, (3) a diploma of honor for the director, and (4) an honor certificate for each member of the band.

2. The presentation of the award to the band will be scheduled at an important musical event and at a time and place convenient to the recipient and others concerned. Other than providing the awards, the Sousa Foundation will not be responsible for any presentation costs.


1. The Sudler Shield award will be administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation and implemented by the executive committee through the project chair, Professor W. Dale Warren of the University of Arkansas, United States.

The Jury

1. The jury will be nominated by the project chair with the advice and approval of the executive committee.

2. The jury will be composed of not less than ten and not more than twenty-five band directors of national and international reputation in the marching band field.

3. No member of the jury, the Sousa Foundation, nor other persons will receive any renumeration.

Past Recipients

Sudler Shield Award Photographs

2019 Adair County, KY Sudler Shield Presentation Photographs

2019 The Woodlands, TX Sudler Shield Presentation Photographs

2019 Carmel, IN Sudler Shield Presentation Photographs

2019 North Lamar, TX Sudler Shield Presentation Photographs

2018 Vista Ridge, TX Sudler Shield Presentation Photographs

2018 Flower Mound Sudler Shield Presentation Photographs

2018 Greendale Sudler Shield Presentation

2018 Morton Sudler Shield Presentation Pics for Website

2017 Vista Murrieta, CA Sudler Shield Award Concert Photographs

2016 Russell County, KY Award Photographs

2016 Castle, IN HS Sudler Shield Award Photographs

2016 Keat Hwa, Malaysia Sudler Shield Presentation Photographs

2016 Chien Kuo, Taiwan Sudler Shield Presentation Photographs

2015 Broken Arrow, OK Sudler Shield Presentation Photographs

2015 Keller, Texas Sudler Shield Presentation Photographs

2014, CT Johnson High School, TX, Sudler Shield Award Presentation Photographs

2014, Round Rock High School, TX, Sudler Shield Award Presentation Photographs