History

The history of the ASU Sun Devil Marching Band is a proud one. Since being founded on September 20, 1915 by Lillian Williams, the then-Tempe Bulldogs Marching Band has grown into today’s ensemble of nearly 400 members that consists of percussion, woodwind, brass, front ensemble, color guard and spirit squad members.

The ASU Sun Devil Marching Band is known as “The Pride of the Southwest,” and with good reason. In 1991, the band was awarded the Sudler Trophy, an award given to one band each year in recognition of elevated musical standards, innovative marching routines, and a high level of national respect. The ASU Sun Devil Marching Band is the first Pac-10 school to be distinguished with this award, and high standards continue to be the norm today.

In addition to a number of bowl appearances, other past credits include: a performance in the pregame show at Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona; performances at Cardinals NFL and Phoenix Suns NBA games; and performances at Sea World, Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland and Universal Studios. The ASU Sun Devil Marching Band has also had special guest appearances with the Boston Brass Quintet, Tower of Power and Little Richard.


 

Tradition

The ASU Sun Devil Marching Band has many traditions within the band program that continue to be honored today:

EGT: A motto that the band lives by is “Expect Great Things.” The acronym EGT is inscribed on a sign that hangs from the director’s podium, and is a symbol of the high standards that band members strive to meet.

Learning of the Alma Mater and Fight Song (Maroon and Gold): All band members are required to know the Fight Song and Alma Mater as a point of pride. The band sings the Alma Mater at every Friday rehearsal of the season, and all “Blue Chippers” (new band members) must demonstrate their knowledge of the Alma Mater and Maroon and Gold by singing as a group for veteran members at the end of Band Camp.

Maroon and Gold:
Fight, Devils down the field
Fight with your might and don’t ever yield
Long may our colors outshine all others
Echo from the buttes, Give em’ hell Devils!
Cheer, cheer for A-S-U!
Fight for the old Maroon
For it’s Hail! Hail! The gang’s all here
And it’s onward to victory!

Al Davis Fight Song:
Ar-i-zona
Ar-i-zona
State, State
Arizona State

Go Go, you Sun Devils
It's a score for ASU
One more, you Sun Devils
And we'll win the game for
AR-I-ZONA STATE

The Sun Devil colors
Of maroon and gold look great,
So go for a vict´ry, a Sun Devil win
Go, Go ARIZONA STATE!

Alma Mater:
Where the bold saguaros raise their arms on high
Praying strength for brave tomorrows from the western sky
Where eternal mountains kneel at sunset’s gate
Here we hail thee Alma Mater, Arizona State

Tuba Baptism: A time-honored tradition that takes place in Cady Fountain next to the Memorial Union at the end of band camp. This yearly custom regularly draws crowds of the general public and band members alike, and is not an event to be missed.

Pre-game concert: Before every game, the ASU Sun Devil Marching Band performs a concert inside of Wells Fargo Arena that consists of pre-game music and parts of the current show.

Pass-in-Review: The highlight of every marching season is the Pass-in-Review concert, where all shows from the season are performed in a stage setting in ASU Wells Fargo Arena. The entire performance is recorded so that a professional quality recording can be compiled and made available for members, alumni and fans on our YouTube channel. Pass-in-Review is not only a chance to revisit previous shows, but also the time to recognize band members who will not be returning the following year.

Explosion Block: A trademark of the ASU Sun Devil Marching Band is the ASU Explosion Block, an aspect of the pre-game show. Band members begin in a tightly clustered block, and then ³explode² in a series of lines running in several different directions during a drum cadence. It takes only 64 counts for the explosion to close with the band standing in the trademark ³ASU,² and concludes with marching up the field to form a pitchfork for the football team to run through.

Timeline

Past Directors of the ASU Sun Devil Marching Band:

  • James G. Hudson, 2006-Present
  • Martin Province, 2002-2005
  • Dr. Robert C. “Coach” Fleming, 1974-2001
  • Dr. Kenneth O. Snapp, 1970-73
  • William Mitchell 1969
  • William H. Hill, 1966-69
  • Harold C. Hines, 1952-65
  • Felix E. McKernan, 1946-51
  • Miles A. Dresskell, 1945
  • Dr. Robert G. Lyon, 1938-43
  • Carl G. Hoyer, 1931-37
  • John Paul Jones, 1929-30
  • Lillian Williams, 1915-17

Bowl appearances by the ASU Sun Devil Marching Band:

  • The Aloha Bowl in Aiea, Hawaii – 1999, 2000
  • The Coca-Cola Bowl in Tokyo, Japan – 1990
  • The Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona (now in Glendale, Arizona) – 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1983
  • The Freedom Bowl in Anaheim, California (now the Holiday Bowl) – 1987
  • The Garden State Bowl in East Rutherford, New Jersey – 1978
  • The Holiday Bowl in San Diego, California – 1985, 2002, 2007, 2013
  • The Insight Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona (now in Tempe, Arizona) – 2005
  • The Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia (now the Chick-fil-A Bowl) – 1970
  • The Rose Bowl, in Pasadena, California – 1987, 1997
  • The Salad Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona (now the Fiesta Bowl) – 1950, 1951
  • The Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas – 1997, 2004, 2014, 2017
  • Maaco Bowl,in Las Vegas, Nevada  - 2011
  • Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, San Franciso, California - 2012
  • Cactus Bowl, Phoenix, Arizona - 2016