The Sudler Flag Honor Award
Lassiter Symphonic Band
Awarded In 1988
The Sudler Shield
Lassiter Marching Trojan Band Awarded In 1998
In 1988, the Lassiter Symphonic Band Program was honored to receive this most prestigious award for high school concert bands. The Sudler Flag of Honor, awarded by the John Philip Sousa Foundation, recognizes high school concert bands with particularly high standards of musical excellence.
Bands are nominated because of their superior concert performances over the years as well as consistently achieving high participation in the All-State bands, various honor bands, and superior solo and ensemble performances.
This coveted award brings national recognition to only 2-4 high school bands annually. Each honored band receives a flag that is to be displayed on stage for each performance given by the band.
The Sudler Shield Award is an international award recognizing outstanding high school, youth, and international marching bands of significance. The purpose of this award is to support world-class excellence in an ensemble’s musical performance, marching execution, choreography and show design.
The award is sponsored each year by the John Philip Sousa Foundation and is annually awarded to only one high school marching band per year. In 1998, the John Philip Sousa Foundation awarded The Lassiter Trojan Band, the prestigious Sudler Shield Award. The award does not represent the winner of any championship, but rather, is awarded to a band surrounded by great tradition that has become respected nationally. No school may be honored with either award twice while under the same director.
The Sudler Shield identifies, recognizes, and honors outstanding high school, youth, and international marching bands regardless of geographical location, religious or political belief, race, color, or ethnic background. The Sudler Shield Jury consists of excellent high school and university band directors who meet once a year to review video and other supporting documents from each group.
High school bands are nominated by the Sudler Committee to submit video and supporting letters of recommendations, who in turn award the Sudler Shield to one organization. The Lassiter Band is one of only five high school bands from the State of Georgia to have received from the Sudler Shield. Other Sudler Shield recipients from Georgia include: Pope HS Band (Cobb County), Walton HS (Cobb County), Kennesaw Mountain HS (Cobb County) and Collin Hills HS (Gwinnett County).
The Lassiter Marching Trojan Band is one of the most storied high band programs in America as evidenced by two Grand National Championship, participation numerous times in both Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. Trojan Band membership has ranged from 77 members in its first year to as many as 400 members in the 2000’s. The Trojan Band is recognized for its beautiful sound, incredible facility and complex, significant varied musical repertoire, “spine-tingling” drills and maneuvering.
Between 1998 and 2002, Lassiter housed two outstanding marching bands. The competitive marching band was comprised of 280-members and participated in regional and national leveled events. The second and non-competitive marching band was comprised of 100 members and performed in local Jr. Varsity and Freshman home football games. The combined bands joined forces in the 1999 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the 2001 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. The award is named in honor to Louis and Virginia Sudler.
The John Philip Sousa Foundation selected the Lassiter High School Symphonic Band, Marietta, Georgia, to join the “Historic Roll of Honor of Distinguished High School Concert Bands in America, 1920-1997.” The Lassiter Symphonic Band is only one of three high school concert bands in the state of Georgia to four receive this distinguished honor during this 77-year period. The other Georgia Sudler Flag bands are: Harrison High School (Marietta) in 2006, Hardaway High School (Columbus) in 1984 and Jordan High School (Columbus) in 1956.
Selection standards for this prestigious honor are quite stringent. A selection committee comprised of some 24 nationally recognized college and university band directors meets each December at the Mid-West Clinic in Chicago to select these outstanding bands. The purpose of this project is to research and evaluate high school concert bands from across the country that have attained unusual levels of achievement nationally and which are considered to be of historical importance and influence to the nation’s high school concert band programs.
North America’s most prestigious award for community concert bands, the Sudler Silver Scroll, has been awarded to the Cobb Wind Symphony (CWS) of Marietta, Georgia. The purpose of this award is to identify, recognize and honor those community bands that have demonstrated particularly high standards of excellence in concert activities over a period of several years, and which have played a significant and leading role in the cultural and musical environment in their respective communities. The Sudler Award is sponsored by the John Philip Sousa Foundation, which seeks to uphold the standards and ideals of the American icon, John Philip Sousa.
The Cobb Wind Symphony, an all-adult community concert band of Marietta, Georgia, was selected from a long list of community bands making application from throughout the world. In this highly competitive selection process, past Silver Scroll laureate conductors, who have experienced a number of successful years as band conductors, formed the selection committee.
Nominated bands are required to present audiotapes of past performances, newspaper clippings of past events, and letters of recommendation from both noted wind band conductors and community leaders documenting the band’s contribution to the community. The current conductor of the group must be in place for five years. We are very proud to join Georgia’s previous Silver Scroll award winners: the Tara Winds and the Atlanta Wind Symphony.