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Past, Present and Future Band Members: Take a Look at Where The Pride Has Been and What’s Next!

June 4, 2014

Aerial Shot of SUMB Super Bowl Pre-game Show

Now more than ever, heads are turning in the direction of The Pride. This has presented band members with some amazing performance opportunities in recent months. From performing for international audiences to the crowd at Super Bowl XLVIII, the SUMB’s last season has been one heck of a ride. With The Pride’s current track record, who knows what high-profile events the band will be asked to appear at next. One thing is for sure though: it’s an exciting time to be a member of The Pride of the Orange.

Where We’ve Been

Last season, The Pride flew to Houston to cheer on The Syracuse Orange in its Texas Bowl victory. It traveled to Montreal to make its third appearance in a Canadian Football League game, and it returned to New York City to perform as the house band of the Heisman Memorial Trophy Gala. At home in the Carrier Dome, the band had the chance to play alongside the world-famous Boston Brass. It also unveiled its classy, new set of uniforms at the Syracuse homecoming game. Culminating in the performance of a lifetime at the Super Bowl, The Pride’s last season was certainly a special one.

Playing Alongside Rutgers at the Super Bowl

Since performing at the Super Bowl with the Rutgers University Marching Band, The Pride has been recognized by the Syracuse community, government officials and even popular celebrities. Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer, Chad Smith, for example, tweeted about the SUMB after meeting band members backstage at the Super Bowl.

Chad Smith Closeup

Chad Smith With the SUMB

After the Super Bowl, The New York State Senate recognized The Pride for its recent accomplishments. Check out the legislative resolution it made to commend the band. The media has also recognized the SUMB. News of its Super Bowl journey has made many a headline. Relive it through photos, video footage and articles found in the links below.

SUMB Photo from The New Yorker

What’s Next

In two short months, SUMBand camp will begin, and the members of the Pride will start learning a handful of awesome new productions. They will have the chance to perform them both at home and on the road. In September, the SUMB will return to New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium for an SU football game against Notre Dame. Then in October, the band will travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to face Pitt. The 2014 football schedule is sure to be full of high-energy games.

Stands Pic

Being a member of The Pride this year will mean a lot of things: you’ll provide a source of school spirit for the Orange Nation, travel to special events free of charge and watch live football games from a piece of prime real estate. Being a member of The Pride will also mean you’ll have a chance to be part of something big— something so big you’ll tell your granchildren about it the way band alumni have for years. Why? It’s not just because you’ll have made music in front of 40,00-plus fans each home game, but because you’ll have made fun memories doing what you love with some of the finest ladies and gents in the land.

Color Guard on the Quad

SU, ESF, LeMoyne College and Onondaga Community College students are eligible to participate in The Pride of the Orange. Previous marching experience is not required, and it’s easy to join. Fill out a performance opportunity form to receive more information about the band and/ or enroll. If playing an instrument or spinning a flag is your thing, then joining the band is one of the best choices you can make, especially at this point in SUMB history.

There ain’t nothin’ finer in 2014.


December 23, 2013

The announcement has been made! After weeks of trying to keep it a secret, we can now let everyone know that the Syracuse University Marching Band will be performing at the Super Bowl this year. That’s right, the Super Bowl. The SUMB will be participating in the pregame festivities of Super Bowl XLVIII along with the Rutgers University Marching Band. The performance will take place on Sunday, Feb. 2 at approximately 6pm. We are so excited and honored to be selected to perform at such an esteemed event and are pleased to share this joy with the Rutgers band.

Students of the SUMB are blowing up social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook with the news. Senior Connorlynn Gaffney posted on Facebook, “Marching band has given me some pretty fantastic opportunities, but being told that the last football game I will ever perform at will be the Super Bowl is pretty awesome. Could not ask for a better senior year.”

Senior drum major Jason Kammerer tweeted, “Yankee Stadium, Canada, @MLStadium x3, The @BostonBrass, and now #SuperBowlXLVIII! I’d call that a successful run. Thanks @SU_MarchingBand!”

Other Syracuse University students who are not in the band have even joked on social media about having to learn an instrument now. The SUMB is really making it big.

The SUMB will also be performing on Friday, Dec. 27 at the Texas Bowl where Syracuse University will be taking on the University of Minnesota.

We can’t wait to see where the SUMB will go next.


The release from the NFL:

Orange Love All Around: Homecoming 2013

October 16, 2013


For The Pride of the Orange, SU’s homecoming weekend was filled with lots of orange love.

IMG_9400Pride members first encountered it Friday evening when they kicked off the weekend with SU’s annual homecoming parade. The Pride held off on performing in its new uniforms and added to the hype about its “new look for a new era.” The band paraded down Waverly and Comstock wearing bright orange shirts that read, “A New Era Begins 10/ 5/ 13.” Then, the SUMB got to work and began rehearsing for the big day that was to follow.

IMG_9321Early Saturday morning, the SUMB unveiled its new uniforms to a select audience. In the stands, sat those who had made it possible for the band to purchase a $150,000 set of first class uniforms. After the uniform donors watched The Pride perform its pregame and halftime shows, they were recognized by Patrick Jones, director of SU’s Setnor School of Music.



Justin Mertz, director of the SUMB, then graciously thanked them— not only for making Pride members look great, but also for making them feel great about what they do. On behalf of his beaming students, he thanked the donors for giving them chance to receive the attention and recognition they deserve as members of one of the country’s top collegiate bands.

On the field, 200 statues suddenly broke the parade rest position they had been holding. The SUMB showed the donors some serious orange love by erupting into applause.

The general public got to see the new uniforms later in the day. As they sparkled in the sunlight, each of the plumes atop the band’s matching navy shakos became a hit— all 14 inches of them. Orange fans also loved the band’s new jackets, which are made of a special orange fabric designed to match the exact Pantone color on the SU football team’s uniforms.

IMG_9287Pride members were thrilled to see that many alumni came to their traditional quad show to support them. The orange love on the quad was heightened as a special performance of the tune, “Hey Baby,” began. Wearing a band uniform to disguise himself, Ryan Giarusso hid among band members on the steps of Hendrick’s Chapel. As The Pride began to play, Ryan cut through the SU dance team and made his way to his fiancé, dance coach, Katie Lappin. He got down on one knee and offered her an engagement ring. Meanwhile,                                                                                                        IMG_9439the band sang, “Hey! Hey Katie! I wanna know! Will you be my bride?”

Katie said yes and wrapped her arms around her husband-to-be. As tears of joy streamed down her face, she kissed him, and the crowd roared.

At SU’s first ACC game, The Pride later performed for a crowd of almost 49,000. More fans than usual remained in their seats to watch the band’s halftime show. Though the football team was down by 28 points and Orange fans’ moral was low, cheers filled the Dome as the SUMB strutted its stuff in new uniforms. Orange love was real— not just for the football players, but for their biggest fans.




Our New Threads Have Arrived!

October 1, 2013

Weighing over a ton in total, the SUMB’s new uniforms just arrived at the Dome! Today they completed a 700-mile journey from Chicago, Illinois.

IMG_0375The Pride of the Orange recently finished fundraising a whopping $150,000 to cover the cost of the 300 uniforms it has purchased from DeMoulin Brothers and Co., the world’s largest manufacturer of music apparel. Last year, the band started a fundraising campaign called, “A New Look for a New Era.” It has since achieved its goal of creating a fresh look for the band in time for SU’s inaugural football season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Pride gave its old set of well-worn uniforms a great send off Sunday. At a sold out Buffalo Bills game, band members wore the 15-year-old uniforms for the last time as they performed for a crowd of about 75,000. Former SU football coach and current Bills coach, Doug Marrone, facilitated what was obviously a big performance for the band. The SUMB has an even bigger performance in store homecoming weekend when it will debut its new uniforms at SU’s first ACC home game.


The SUMB uniform consists of 100% recycled materials and is completely American-made. It features navy blue pants, a matching shako and a top that is Cuse orange with navy trim. The word, “Syracuse,” is displayed across the chest, along with a block letter “S” on the back. The uniform complements the color guard’s stunning new outfit, which is navy blue with orange and white trim.

Members of The Pride were each measured for a custom fit uniform last spring. This week, they will be able to try them on. First, 40 special patches must be sewn onto randomly selected uniforms. Each donor who contributed more than $500 to The Pride’s uniform campaign will be recognized with a uniform patch that bears his or her name. Traci Washburn, who works in the VPA Development office, and her mother, Patricia, have already started sewing the donor patches onto the uniforms. They have graciously volunteered to complete this task in less than three days so that band members can pick up their uniforms on time! *


“A New Look for a New Era”  received its first donation from the Harry T. Mangurian Jr. Foundation. Alumnus, Terry M. Skuse (’75), was responsible for the foundation’s $75,000 challenge gift. Other large donations followed from Carol and Peter Maciulewicz; Diane and Peter Lynch (’74); and Mary Cotter (’69).  More were made by SU Trustees: Louise and Howard G. Phanstiel (‘70 and ’71); Vivian and John H. Chapple (’75); and Lauren B. Cramer (’94).

The Pride is lucky to have such wonderful friends of the band program. Before the Syracuse Orange takes on Clemson University at Saturday’s homecoming game, “A New Look For a New Era” donors will join the band for a special ceremony in the Dome, where they will be honored for their amazing generosity.

IMG_3812Over the years, The Pride of the Orange has proved that it is the real deal, a first class marching band that’s equated with “the authentic sound of college sports.” Finally, The Pride will have the chance to look the part.

* The original version of this blog post incorrectly identified who sewed the patches onto the uniforms.  We made the correction above and regret the error.

The SUMB is Going Places— Literally!

September 27, 2013


Amidst their flip books, lyres and other instrument supplies, the members of the Syracuse University Marching Band are now required to own a valid passport. Unlike The Pride of the Orange, most college bands rarely have the opportunity to take their performances on the road— never mind take them international. Although it’s only been a month since The Pride began its 2013 season, the band has already rocked New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium and the Percival Molson Stadium in Montreal, Canada.

On August 31, the SUMB cheered on the Syracuse Orange as it took on Penn State’s Nittany Lions in the first game of the football season. Alongside the band, thousands of other Orange fans showed their support for the team, including SU students who had flocked to MetLife Stadium by the busload.

After the SUMB premiered a shortened version of its first down cheer, fans excitedly began to chant the new cheer after every first down. Without hesitation, they clapped in time and screamed “S-Y-R-A-C-U-S-E, go!” Fans were also quick to learn the band’s new touchdown cheer. It features the climax of the SU fight song followed by a special message to the team: “We want MORE!”

In addition to those new cheers, Orange fans also grooved to the stands tunes The Pride added to its repertoire. The band covered hits like Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us,” Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat.”

After the MetLife game, fans sang The Pride’s praises. In person and on social media, they showered the band with compliments galore. One SU senior, named Alex Brooks, tweeted the SUMB photos of its high energy tailgate performance and raved about how it “pumped up the #OrangeNation.”

When The Pride traveled to Montreal a week later, it was able to pump up Canadian football fans, too. After seeing the  SUMB perform at a Hamilton Ti-Cats game in 2012, the Montreal Alouettes invited the band to return to Canada for another game day performance.

Alouettes fans and fans of the opposing team, the Toronto Argonauts, went berserk during The Pride’s pregame show. They were not expecting 200 Orange men and women to swiftly run into the end zone, form a giant “S” and skillfully high march it 50 yards down the field.

During a halftime show featuring the music of  FUN., audience members rose to their feet and cheered at the top of their lungs. The sea of swaying fans sang and clapped along with the band as it played the song, “Tonight,” and formed the word, “FUN.,” on the field.

That is surely not a sight marching bands see every day, especially not when they perform during halftime. The members of the SUMB couldn’t be more thrilled to gain that kind of recognition from an international audience.

The excitement continues as the band gears up for another big trip this weekend! When the Buffalo Bills face the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, The Pride will make its NFL debut at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, New York.

Meet the SUMB’s New Orange Girl!

August 12, 2013

Meghan Sinisi



My name is Meghan Sinisi and I am the new Orange Girl Feature Twirler for the SUMB. I’m from Altoona, Pennsylvania and I will be a freshman at SU this fall. I started twirling at the age of four and I have always dreamed of twirling for a major university, so this is definitely a dream come true!

I am so excited to meet all of the members of the SUMB and start making lifelong friendships by doing what we all love. I have watched countless videos of the marching band on youtube and I cannot wait to experience the excitement of performing in the Carrier Dome and on the quad for myself. Any time I hear the SU fight song, I get chills from how anxious I am to perform with the SUMB for the first time. Truthfully, all I have looked forward to this summer was moving into SU and starting rehearsals.


As a lot of freshmen starting college say, I’m ready to start a new chapter in my life. I’m anxious, nervous, and excited, but I am so thankful to be a part of such a great program on campus that shows so much school spirit. I know that Syracuse will be all that I expect it to be, and more! And I look forward to meeting all of you soon.



-Meghan Sinisi

Meet Some of the Rookies!

August 8, 2013

Want to meet our new rookies? Here’s a sneak peek at some of the new faces we’ll be seeing this year.

What’s going on with Andre Solomon?Image

My name is Andre Solomon, and I’m from Methuen, MA. I went to Methuen High, and my age is 18. I come from an area where music is really appreciated to the maximum degree. I play the flute and have been playing for nine years. During that time I have had three years of private lessons. I hope to continue doing music for the rest of my life and in doing so one of the activities I picked was marching band. I’ve been in a marching band before and during high school, and I was a huge fan. I hope that college marching will trump my high school years. I can’t wait to see the awesome music and sets we will learn. I hope overall the experience is great and filled with amazing people. I’m going in as a Mathematics Education Major. I was interested Syracuse because I’m a fan of New York State and the fine arts departments. Plus a good education across the board. I love video games and play tennis.


Get the scoop on Katelyn Olsen!Image

Year: Sophomore

Major: Biology

Section: Baritone

Fun fact: I didn’t do marching band as a freshman because I decided to skydive on my 18th birthday instead.

 I’m from Aurora, IL and have been playing the baritone for five years. I marched for three years in high school. I spent this summer working at the Under Armour in my local outlet mall and working at an opportunity school with special education students. I did Sitrus this past year and had a lot of fun being part of the band! I was even fortunate enough to travel to the women’s Big East tournament and the women’s NCAA tournament. Being a part of Sitrus made me realize that I wanted to join the marching band. I look forward to meeting more people in the band and getting to know everyone!


Become a fan of Douglas Moran!Image

I’m Douglas Moran, and I am one of the incoming rookies of the SUMB. I’m an English Education major with some sort of music-related minor. I chose to come to Syracuse because of its great English program. I’m from Harrison, Arkansas, and I’m totally stoked for coming into the band! I play trombone, and have played bass trombone in concert band for the past three years. Marching band has always been an awesome part of the band program at Harrison, so I’m pumped for having another round in college! My favorite part of band has always been cheering in the stands for the team, and playing pep songs. It’s a party! This new year looks like it’s going to be a blast, and I’m ready for it. Go Orange!


Learn all about John Grout!Image



First off, thank you to all the veteran members of the SUMB, for being incredibly welcoming to us rookies.  My name is John Grout.  I’m from Derry, New Hampshire, though I’m originally a Californian but that’s another story.  I’m double majoring in math and linguistics, and play clarinet for marching band.  I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for marching season.  


Let’s see… as far as interesting things about me go, I’ve also accrued a fair number of nicknames, all of which I still go by; Groutie, Grouticus, Sir John of Grout County, John “The Motor” Grout, Jibbles, Jibs, and Fut lé Jibs to name a few.  Oh! And I’m one of few guys who can say they’ve donated to Locks of Love. 


While in the marching band at my high school, I made some of the strongest friends I’ve ever known.  We’ve blasted out rag-tag performances in the middle of the night at relay for life.  We’ve queued in the rain to see the Boston Pops on the Fourth of July (which I HIGHLY recommend. The pops on the fourth, not the rain that is).  We’ve even weathered a bus trip lasting nearly three dozen hours, with two bus breakdowns, and absolutely no sleep.  They’re family to me.  That is one of the biggest reasons I can’t wait for marching band this year because I know that I’ll be meeting even more people like them, right here at Syracuse.


My old school colors were Red and White, but now I can’t wait to be Orange.

- John Grout


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