Sonic Boom of the South: A Marching Ensemble

The “Sonic Boom” has performed many halftime appearances for the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, and Cincinnati Bengals; a television special for Motown 30th Anniversary and the 34th NAACP Image Awards, with a special guest performance by “Cedric the Entertainer.” The band is a favored entry in halftime performances during football season as well as for parades across Mississippi and in other states. The Jackson State University Marching Band was dubbed “The Sonic Boom of the South” in 1971 by students in the band. In 1974, the band’s theme, “Get Ready,” an old Motown favorite was selected, and three years after that, the “Tiger Run-On” was perfected. The “Tiger Run-On” is a fast, eye-catching shuffle that blends an adagio step with an up-tempo shuffle, then back to adagio—a “Sonic Boom” trademark that brings fans to their feet during halftime performances.

Mission

We pledge to serve as ambassadors of goodwill for Jackson State University; presenting ourselves as a showcase of musical excellence, elegance, sophistication, esprit de corps, and dignity.

By: Dr. Lewis Liddell (1994)

Band Ensembles

Instrumental Ensembles in the Band Area:

Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble

The Symphonic Band is the premier performing ensemble of the Jackson State University band program. The Symphonic Band consists of 73 talented students majoring in music and other disciplines throughout the University. The Symphonic Band performs a wide range of orchestral transcriptions and original band compositions, representing various musical styles and periods. Emphasis, however, is placed on the standard band literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. All students must pass an audition for membership in this highly select group of musicians.

Concert Band

The Concert Band is organized at the close of the football season. The Concert Band is open to all qualified students at Jackson State University that are interested in the study and performance of the literature for concert and symphonic bands.

Marching Band

The Jackson State University Marching Band is a direct outgrowth of the symphonic and concert bands. The marching band provides music for athletic events, selected parades, and ceremonial occasions primarily during the fall semester. Also, as an academic class, the marching band serves as a laboratory experience for music education majors. The organization is open to all students at the University with the approval of the Director.

Jazz Ensembles I and II

Membership in Wind Ensemble or the consent of the Director is required to audition for the Jazz Ensemble. A very high level of musical execution is emphasized in this group.

Pep Band

The Pep Band is organized at the beginning of the spring semester to provide spirited music at basketball games. The Pep Band will begin performing for games during the second week of classes during the spring semester.

Percussion Ensembles

Membership in the Wind Ensemble or the consent of the Director is required to audition for this ensemble. A very high level of musical execution is emphasized in this group.

Woodwind Ensemble

Membership in the Wind Ensemble or the consent of the Director is required to audition for this ensemble. A very high level of musical execution is emphasized in this group.

Brass Ensemble

Membership in the Wind Ensemble or the consent of the Director is required to audition for this ensemble. A very high level of musical execution is emphasized in this group.

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