The Sudler Order of Merit

Gladys Stone Wright, Project Chair

Sponsored by Louis and Virginia Sudler

Administered by The John Philip Sousa Foundation

Recognizing individuals who have made particularly outstanding contributions to the excellence of bands and band music at the national and international levels.


Star of the Order Recipients

  Col. George S. Howard  1982
Conductor U.S. Air Force Band, ret.  
  Dr. Al G. Wright  1984
Director of Bands, Purdue University     
  Dr. Frederick Fennell  1984
Conductor, Author, Educator  
  Prof. Maxine Lefever  1985
Prof. Emeritus, Purdue University Bands  
  Dr. William D. Revelli  1986
Dir. Emeritus, Univ. of Michigan Bands  
  Mr. John Phillip Sousa III  1987
Author, Lecturer  
  Dr. Mark Hindsley  1987
Conductor, Univ. Illinois Bands; Arranger  
  Col. John R. Bourgeois  1987
Conductor, U.S. Marine Band  
  Mr. John Paynter  1987
Conductor, Northwestern Univ. Bands   
  Sir Vivian Dunn, K.S.V.O.;O.B.E.;F.R.A.M.
1987  United Kingdom
Conductor, Royal Marine School of Music  
  Mrs. Gladys Stone Wright 1987 Founder, WMDNA  
  Mrs.  Virginia Sudler  1990
        Benefactor, Chicago Symphony Orchestra  
Col. Rodney Bashford, O.B.E.  1991 U.K.
Director, Royal Military School of Music  
Gen. Mikhaylov, Head 1991
1st Independent Performing Orchestra
U.S.S.R. Ministry of Defense, Moscow  
Mr. Morton Gould  1991
Composer, New York City  
Sir Georg Solti  1992
Conductor Chicago Symphony Orchestra  
Gen. Nikolai Mikhallovich 1993
Supervisor of Russian Army Bands  
Dr. John Long 1999
Director National Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors  
Leonard Slatkin 2000
Conductor National Symphony  
Dr. Paul Blerley 2001
Author, Researcher   

View Medal of Honor Recipients

  Col. John R. Bourgeois  1983
Conductor U.S. Marine Band  

Mr. Karel Husa  1983
Composition Winner  
  Dr. James Dixon  1984
Benefactor, Washington, D.C.  
  Dr. Paul Yoder 1985
Composer, Conductor  
  Mr. Micahel Colgrass  1985
Composition Winner  
  Mr. Keith Brion  1986
Conductor New Sousa Band  
  Mr. Paul Bierley  1987
Author, Researcher  
  Prof. Traugott Rohner  1987
Author, Educator, Publisher  
  Prof. Dana Wilson 1987
Composition Winner  
  Dr. Leonard Smith  1987
Conductor Detroit Concert Band  
  Col. Eugene W. Allen 1989
Leader, United States Army Band  
  Mr. Clare Grundman  1989
Composer, Arranger  
  Mr. Johan deMeij  1990
Composition Winner  
  Col. Clifford O. Hunt  1990
Director Canadian Armed Forces Bands  
  Mr. James Saied  1991
"John Philip Sousa" Concerts  
  Mrs. Elizabeth Ludwig Fennell  1991
Publisher of Significant Band Literature  
  Mr. William F. Ludwig Jr.  1991
Percussionist & President Ludwig Drum Co.  
  Ms Barbara Buehlman  1992
Conductor, Composer, Northshore Concert Band  
  Capt. Frank Byme  1993
United States Marine Band  
  Dr. John Long  1994
Director National Hall of Fame of Distinguished Band Conductors  
  Dr. Dale C. Harris  1994
Founder "American School Bandmasters Assoc"  
  Mr. Tim Lautzenheiser 1995
Conductor, Founder of "Attitude Concepts"  
  Dr. Harvey Phillips  1995
Founder of "Tuba Christmas"  
  Dr. Max McKee  1998
Editor & Publisher "BANDWORLD" Magazine  
  Mr. Donald Koss  1998
Chicago Symphony Orchestra  
  Dr. Victor Zajec  1999
Dean, Vandercook School of Music  
  Col. Benny Knudson  1999
  Dr. Alfred Reed 2000
Composer, Conductor  
  Dr. W. Francis McBeth  2000
Composer, Conductor  

The Sudler Order Of Merit has been established in four classes in keeping with international standards of laureate recognition. The order includes the following:

1. Star of the Order

2. Medal of Honor

Badge of the Order

Diploma of the Order

Star of the Order

The Star of the Order is a four pointed star executed in red and white enamel on a gold medallion. The cross is surrounded by a wreath of gold and suspended from a gold lyre.The central disc bears the badge of the order. the obverse bears a likeness of the sponsor, Louis Sudler, under which the name of the recipient and date of the award is engraved.  The cross is mounted on a red chest ribbon with a narrow blue and white stripe on each side.  A red, white and blue rosette is worn with informal attire.


Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor (also known as the Medal of the Order) is identical to the Star, except that it is executed in sterling silver with white and blue enamel.  It is mounted on a blue chest ribbon with two narrow white stripes on each side. A blue and white rosette is worn with informal attire.


Badge of the Order

The Badge of the Order is a three fourths inch disc executed in bronze which bears the logo of the Sousa Foundation. The obverse is plain.


Diploma of the Order

The Diploma of the Order is printed in four colors on heavy stock and carries the seal of the Sousa Foundation. The diploma may be accompanied by the Badge when so authorized by the executive committee.


The selection of recipients is reserved to the executive committee of the Sousa Foundation.  Nominations are taken to the board of directors for guidance. The executive committee receives nominations at any time and from any source.  Nominations are considered at an early convenience of the committee but not less frequently than annually. A majority concurrence of the executive committee is necessary for approval. The Star of the Order is reserved for particularly outstanding contributions and service to bands and band music at the international level. The Medal of Order is awarded for outstanding service at the national level. This award will also be made to the winner of the biennial Sudler Wind Band Composition Competition, a project also sponsored by Louis and Virginia Sudler and administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The Badge of Order is reserved for but not limited to recognition of student and staff membership in the Sousa International High School Honors Band which is organized biennially.

The Diploma of Order is awarded to those significant contributiions to the activities and projects of the Sousa Foundation.

Louis and Virginia Sudler

Through the generosity of Louis and Virginia Sudler,  The Sudler Flag of Honor awards were made possible. Louis Sudler was a rare combination of successful business man, a performing artist, and a nationally known patron of the arts. He was the founder of the Chicago real estate firm, Sudler and Company; his urge for achievement in the business world was equaled only by his intense desire to assist and inspire talented young musicians. Mr. Sudler appeared nationally as a soloist in concerts, oratorio, with symphony orchestras, with concert bands, at functions honoring five United States presidents, and as a recording artist. A baritone, he was a member of the Chicago Civic Opera. Louis Sudler had long expressed his interest in the arts, not only as a successful performing musician but as a patron of the arts, vitally interested in recognizing outstanding accomplishments, particularly by students at the high school and college levels. He was founder and host of the Peabody award-winning television program, "Artist's Showcase," which ran for 14 years. He was internationally known for his leadership of The Orchestral Association of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and served on the boards of many art institutions in this country. Over the years he established scholarships and awards for young talented musicians through the Louis Sudler Foundation and the Sousa Foundation.

His wife, Virginia Brown Sudler, was a patron of the arts, remained active in The John Philip Sousa Foundation, serving as Vice-President on the Executive Board until her death in 2003.

Administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation

Gladys Stone Wright, Chair
345 Overlook Drive
West Lafayette, Indiana, 47906