Marching band awarded prestigious Sudler Trophy

Cyclone Marching Band performing in Jack Trice Stadium

The Cyclone Marching Band will receive the Sudler Trophy at a home football game in 2017. (Larger image) Photos by Christopher Gannon

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State University Cyclone Football “Varsity” Marching Band has been recognized as one of the nation’s top marching bands.

The band has won the 2017-2019 Sudler Trophy from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The award is presented biannually to a marching band which has demonstrated the highest musical standards and innovative marching routines, as well as made important contributions to the advancement of performance standards over a period of years.

Steven Smyth, associate director of bands, has directed the Cyclone Marching Band, or ISUCF‘V’MB, since 2011. Christian Carichner, also a lecturer in music and theatre, is the assistant director. Michael Golemo, professor and chair of music and theatre, is director of bands at Iowa State.

“We are both humbled and excited to be awarded the Sudler Trophy,” Smyth said. “On behalf of all of our members, it’s a thrill to see the band recognized at this level. This is as close to a national championship as it gets for college marching bands, and we’ll be celebrating for the next two years.”

The trophy will be presented at a 2017 home football game by the Sudler Trophy Selection Committee Chairman Timothy Rhea, director of bands at Texas A&M University. The award is only given once per school and recognizes both the current and historical excellence of the nation’s top collegiate marching bands. The Cyclone Marching Band plans to display the trophy in both Jacobsen Building and Music Hall on campus. It is a traveling trophy that will stay with the institution for two years. The trophy, which weighs 80 pounds, was designed by the same artist who made the Heisman Trophy.

Cyclone Marching Band entering the stadium

Also known as “The Pride of Iowa State,” the Cyclone Marching Band was the first band established at Iowa State in 1881. Its 362 members include musicians, a feature twirler and color guard who perform at all home football games, as well as the annual ISU Band Extravaganza and other university functions and special events throughout the year.

For more information about Iowa State’s tradition of excellence, the ISUCF‘V’MB, go to