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Video: The Sun Devil Marching Band: A family of 400

Sun Devil Marching Band members participate for more than just playing music


The Sun Devil Marching Band practicing at the Verde Dickey Dome in Tempe, Arizona on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019.


The Sun Devil Marching Band is more than just any music ensemble — it's a family. With about 400 members, they come together in the name of music and are excited to get the crowd ready for a game. The students in the band form a patchwork quilt of different majors and ages, each with a common love for marching band. The SDMB made it into the top five bands at the College Band Directors National Association conference last semester. The band is lead by the Athletic Band Director James G. Hudson, known by his students as 'Hudd.' Any ASU major can participate in the band as long as they have some prior band experience with an instrument. Non-ASU student community college members can also participate.


Ashley Aulicino: I guess, what makes our band unique from other bands is how much fun and spirit we put into each of our shows. Even if you've never seen a marching band before but you're watching our shows, you kind of have to get into it because we're putting all of our spirit into that putting all of our passion into each of our shows. We hope that that spreads to other people. So whenever we play the fight song seeing everyone clapping and dancing around with us, it's so rewarding knowing that all of your hard work is paying off because the fans are into it with you. So we're all one giant family because we're all looking out for each other. We're all striving towards the same goal to perform at the very best quality that we can, but at the end of day we're all students and we're all struggling through college.

Gina Sleeper: Over four hundred people and all of them are like your family. It's really nice just to walk around sometimes here on campus and you see someone with a marching band shirt or a marching band backpack and you just immediately know like hey that's someone that I work together with and it's nice to know that, in such a big university there are people like you. We all have a passion for music, we have a passion for performance. So that kind of brings us together in our interests, but we also have a passion for people. We enjoy working as a team. This is a very big team, so It has to be something that everyone's involved in, everyone's enthusiastic about in order for it to work. So that's part of why it makes it such a great family. 

James G. Hudson: [At] Northeast Missouri State University, where I went to school. Just the friendships and the bonds you make. And you forget all the other stuff, I mean, to me I couldn't play any of the music we played back in 1976 to 1980. You know I remember a couple of tunes that we did, but boy I remember my bandmates.  

Gina Sleeper: Anyone can participate in the Sun Devil Marching Band. You don't even have to be a student of ASU. You could be a community member we accept people that are from community colleges. We accept people that aren't in college at all. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @ZachVanArs on Twitter.

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Zach Van ArsdalePrevious Multimedia Director

Zach Van Arsdale was the head of the multimedia department from August 2020 to May 2022, shaping design and multimedia storytelling at The State Press in addition to designing article experiences, illustrations and taking photographs. He has previously worked for The Howard Center of Investigative Journalism and on the Carnegie-Knight News21 project: "Unmasking America."

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