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

W. Dale Warren, Sudler Shield Chairman

Please click below for the Sudler Shield nomination form.  It is available in PDF format:

2015 Sudler Shield Nomination Form - PDF


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 Friday, December 5, 2014.

3. A jury viewing DVD's submitted by the nominees will make the selection.  Only DVD’s compatible to U.S. machines are acceptable.

4. Materials to be submitted:

 a) A properly executed nomination form

b) One (high camera is preferred but not required ) high quality DVD from the current (nomination) school  year

c) 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 and this new director must have been in that 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 Clinic 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 in the selection process and all qualified bands will be selected.

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

14. All nomination forms, DVD's, and other materials should be received (not postmarked) by Friday, December 5, 2014.  Send to:

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

View Previous Recipients
View Committee Member and Award Criteria
Sudler Shield Award Photos