Gimme Some 2014 Lovin’

August 29, 2014: an anxious SUMB awakens for 8 a.m. rehearsal. The crowds are forming, the quad is decked out and the Dome is testing its equipment. It’s game day. However, it’s not just any game day. For one-fourth of the SUMB, it’s the first time that they will ever run onto the Dome’s turf with thousands of fans in the stands. After what seemed like an eternity of practicing at band camp, the SUMB arrives at the entrance of the tunnel ready to storm the field. The excitement of the veterans and the nerves of the rookies are palpable. The SUMB lines up with huge smiles as the countdown starts. Soon, attention is called and run-on begins. The 2014 SUMB season had begun.

Riding high after the Super Bowl performance earlier in the year, the 2014 SUMB certainly had a high standard to live up to. Fortunately, the 2014 SUMB did not disappoint; the 2014 SUMB members made the season as fun, unique and spectacular as they are. Celebrating Professor Mertz’s tenth year on the field, the 2014 SUMB was one of the best and most memorable yet by introducing new traditions, working hard in the face of adversity and having one of the strongest sounds that the SUMB has heard in recent years.

As band camp began in late August, SUMB members and rookies alike streamed back to campus. The SUMB leaders greeted the new class of rookies (one of the biggest in recent years) with stern gazes and intimidating “Pride’s.” However, this ploy quickly dissolved as the leaders welcomed the rookies into their sections. After days of high-stepping, flanking and sliding, the 2014 rookies were up to par and met the returning veterans for the first time. The adventure had begun.


The adventure, of course, required a lot of work, but the SUMB was up for the challenge. On top of learning two tough shows, the unforgettable “Bohemian Rhapsody” show and a time-warping “Video Games” show, the SUMB had to grapple with learning drill for two incredible guest performances. First, Joseph Alessi of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra stopped by to perform a trombone arrangement of the “Bluebells of Scotland” at SU’s Homecoming show. Next, the Pride hosted SUMBand Day for local high school bands, performing together with hundreds of students to salute the troops serving around the world. Following the end of the game, the SUMB went on to perform a special post-game show, “Caravan,” featuring Professor Gabriel DiMartino, for their special guests.


Beyond the Dome, the Pride traveled to Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sept. 13 to perform halftime at their second Buffalo Bills game in front of a sold-out crowd. Shortly afterwards, the Pride traveled to play at the College Classic at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 27 to cheer on SU. Even as the buses broke down, the SUMB forged ahead and performed an awesome halftime show without any pre-game practice!


Although the SUMB worked hard, there was also some fun on the side. Professor Mertz surprised members when he decided to institute planks, superman’s and ‘banana’s’ into the SUMB warm up. Groups of SUMB members joined together outside of the Dome for ladies night, LGBBQT and more. SUMB members put on their best impressions and skits at the annual SUMBBQ picnic on the Onondaga lakefront. Finally, who could forget Section of the Week? This new SUMB tradition went to a dedicated section and granted points which ultimately went towards the crowning of the Section of the Year.


And just as quickly as it had began, the season was almost over. After the emotional last home game of the season on Nov. 9, the SUMB was able to have one last hurrah on the road in Pittsburgh. As the buses arrived after a tireless journey, the SUMB was greeted into the city with fireworks as if to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of the season. After 4 months of endless practice, dedication and hard work, the 2014 SUMB season was over. However, as all SUMB members know to be true, the memories of the 2014 season will last a lifetime.

Back in Buffalo: The Pride’s Second Annual SUMBills Weekend

The SUMB rehearses the Bohemian Rhapsody Halftime Show it will perform at the upcoming Buffalo Bills game.
The SUMB rehearses “Bohemian Rhapsody” for its performance at the upcoming Buffalo Bills game.


The Pride of the Orange is traveling to Buffalo this weekend to make another NFL appearance! The Buffalo Bills have invited us to perform at the team’s highly anticipated home opener. At Sunday’s game we will perform our signature pregame show, participate in a special ceremony with the Bills and premiere our halftime show, Bohemian Rhapsody.



Sunday will be a big day at the newly renovated Ralph Wilson Stadium as the Buffalo Bills face the Miami Dolphins in a sold-out match. Game day will begin with a ceremony honoring the Bills’s deceased founding owner, Ralph C. Wilson Jr., whom band members had the pleasure of meeting on our last trip to Buffalo.


During the ceremony, section leaders and senior members of The Pride will unfurl a special flag across the field in tribute to Wilson. The entire band will also perform a pregame show dedicated to his memory. At the end of the show, we will form his initials, “RCW,” on the field.



After a 1:00pm kickoff, Pride members will have the opportunity to enjoy the game from prime stadium seating, and then, at halftime, we will take the field. The Pride has been working hard to prepare its new halftime show. As we put a new spin on the band Queen’s biggest hit, our Bohemian Rhapsody show is sure to be a crowd pleaser. We are thrilled to be able to unveil it before a crowd of over 73,000 fans.




We’re going to have ourselves an SUMBlast this weekend— so stay tuned for #SUMBills updates from the band’s Facebook and Twitter feed! Let’s go Bills! And as always: let’s go Orange!!!

Psyched for the Upcoming Season: Veteran Perspectives

Hello From Meredith Martin, Class of 2015

Meredith Martin

Hey there, 2014 Pride!

My name is Meredith Martin, and I’m a senior who’s excited to be back for my fourth season with the SUMB. Fun fact about me: I’m from New Holland, Pennsylvania, which is smack dab in the middle of Amish Country (no, I’m not Amish, so don’t ask). This season, I’ll be returning to the leadership team as one of the band’s trumpet section leaders. Outside of marching band, I’m involved with the Sour Sitrus Society and Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity on campus. I’m also pursuing a degree in biology and an Integrated Learning Major in forensic science.

My favorite part about being a member of the SUMB is definitely the great opportunities we get to show people what we are made of. Whether we are performing the “Thriller” dance at band competitions or performing pregame show for the crowd at the Super Bowl, we have certainly gotten some great opportunities that only happen maybe once in a lifetime.

Like last marching season, this season is going to be one to remember. I can’t wait to spend my final year of marching band working with all of the great members of the SUMB. I also look forward to getting to know the new faces on the field. I bet this season will be our best yet. As a senior, I’m thrilled to be going out with a bang.


Greetings From Jason Deal, Class of 2017

Jason Deal


I’m Jason Deal, a sophomore international relations major and trombone “extraordinaire,” from Naperville, Illinois. I cannot wait to be back in the Dome to get started on what I’m sure will be another unforgettable year with the SUMB!

The basics about me: I’m a proud Puerto Rican, I have an obsession with shows like 30 Rock and Survivor, I’m pretty into those “Just Dance” games, I want to travel the world and get lost, I’m a future Amazing Race champion, and I crave adventure.

And I suppose that’s why I joined the SUMB and am coming back for more: it’s an adventure. Being a member of The Pride is certainly hard work— but what good adventure isn’t? This marching season, the time that goes in will come out as a fulfilling reward, and that’s a promise. When it all came together on my very first game day, that’s when I realized how special The Pride is. Between the quad show, march over, run-on, pre-game, stands, and halftime, I knew I was in for one heck of an adventure with a great group of people.

This organization is like nothing else; to put it simply, it’s a home away from home. From the beginning, you immerse yourself into a new community that is larger than life—and it’s honestly like nothing I’ve ever experienced. With just one year under my belt, I can say I’ve truly learned a lot about myself and who I am, I’ve met phenomenal people who challenge me to be my best self, and I have made memories that are priceless. Not many people can say that they’ve danced to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” during a halftime show and have performed at venues such as Reliant Stadium, MetLife Stadium, the Super Bowl and who knows where else we end up in the upcoming years!

I’m pumped for another season full of adventures!


Words of Wisdom From Shaun Kinney, Class of 2016

Shaun Kinney

Hi, everyone:

My name is Shaun Kinney, and I am music instructor for this year’s tuba section.

I grew up in Mexico, New York, just about 45 minutes north of Syracuse. I have been participating in marching band since sixth grade. Due to the size of my school’s music program at the time, the marching band allowed younger students to join to boost numbers. While it may seem like I came to SU with a lot of experience, my high school marching band only participated in parades in nearby areas so joining the SUMB was quite the new experience for me!

As I move into my final two years as an undergrad, I look back at all the good times I have had and look forward to the many more fun memories I will make. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the SUMB. The opportunities it has given me (such as going to the Super Bowl!) have been priceless.

Although I choose to spend a lot of my time at SU with The Pride, surprisingly, I have a life outside of band. I am a junior music industry major in the Setnor School of Music, and my principal instrument of study is tuba. This past summer I had the privilege of interning at Subcat Studios, a recording studio in downtown Syracuse. I was able to experience work that fit right into my major and had a wonderful time doing so and making friends and connections along the way. Even though the winters in Syracuse may be harsh, the summers are gorgeous! Perfect weather for hanging out with friends on the porch while the grill is cookin’ and lawn game classics such as corn hole and washers are being played. I highly recommend spending a summer in Syracuse if you ever get the chance.

Though I had a great summer, I’m eager to kick off this fall’s marching season. I am excited to be a part of the leadership and can’t wait to see what the season has in store!


Senior Reflection From Caysie Myers, Class of 2015

Caysie Myers Hello!

My name is Caysie Myers, and I am one of the SUMB colorguard section leaders and also a sister of the band service sorority, Tau Beta Sigma. I am originally from a little rural town in Pennsylvania called Chambersburg. I am a senior in the Maxwell School, majoring in international relations. I spent the last semester in Istanbul, Turkey, which I can easily say was one of the best experiences of my life.

This will be my fourth year in the SUMB and my ninth year total of doing marching band. It’s crazy to think how time has flown by so quickly. Throughout the years, the SUMB has been an integral part of my college experience. To be honest, I was never a big fan of marching band in high school; I only did it to stay in colorguard and ride out the time until the competitive winterguard season began. I had assumed I would have to give up colorguard once I started college, but when I found out that Syracuse had a marching band with a colorguard, my heart was stolen within seconds.

Being part of The Pride has been an amazing journey. I never would have expected I would have so many opportunities, such as performing in Canada and at a Buffalo Bills game. This marching band has turned out to be one of the highlights of my college career. It has provided me with the best friends I could ever ask for along with amazing experiences. I look forward to what will come this season, even though it will be a bittersweet end for me as a senior band member.


Hi From Jon “Turtle” Trudell, Class of 2016

Jon "Turtle" Trudell

Hi, all! Here’s a bit about me…

My Nickname: Turtle

Class Rank: Junior

Major: Music Industry with Performance Honors (Percussion)

Hometown: Walpole, Massachusetts

Section: Drumline

Instrument: Snare

My experiences with the SUMB have given me the opportunity to grow both as a person and a musician. The drumline was the first group of people I met on campus two years ago when I joined the SUMB. They quickly became my first friends as well. Over the past two years, I have had the chance to do what I love: play percussion and make music— all with a cool group of friends. From traveling to Canada and MetLife Stadium to performing at a Buffalo Bills game and Super Bowl XLVIII, being a member of The Pride has given me the chance to visit amazing performance venues across the Northeast. It has also given me the chance to become a better musician. By putting in the time and effort needed to improve as a band, other Pride members and I have ultimately had a more enjoyable band experience because we look and sound that much better. Getting noticed for that has been pretty sweet, too! One reason I’m looking forward to the coming season is because we will continue to raise the bar.


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

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.


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


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!

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.