Purdue University’s “All-American” Marching Band Twirlers Represent at AYOP

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.—Purdue University’s “All-American” Marching Band Twirlers competed at AYOP, July 21-27 at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. This national competition brings together the best baton twirlers, teams and corps from around the world.  Another appropriate name would be the “World Series of Baton Twirling.”

This year’s results for Purdue University includes; Golden Girl- Alexa Phillips, Silver Twin- Julianna Johnson, and All-American Twirling Team Member- Olivia Zugai. Alexa placed top 5 in all open events which qualified her to participate in world open finals. Out of 100 twirlers, Alexa placed top 20 as a Grand National Finalist and top 15 Collegiate “Down the Field” participant.  Julianna placed 7th overall in the College Miss Majorette of America pageant as well as top 10 in Collegiate Finals. She also placed 2nd overall the National Majorette Contest and was a 2nd place finalist in the World Open for the 19 year old group. Olivia placed 2nd at AYOP. She was the runner-up for Title of World  Open Strut Champion for the Advanced Age 18 category. This placement qualified her for the Strut Off Competition. Overall, the “All-American” Marching Band Twirlers placed 3rd at AYOP.

Purdue University’s “All-American” Marching Band makes summer visit to Medellín, Colombia

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University’s “All-American” Marching Band from West Lafayette, Indiana USA, will perform in the Feria de las Flores (Festival of Flowers) from August 5-10 in Medellín, Colombia.  Band members will participate in a variety of performance, cultural and school engagement opportunities beyond parading in the festival during their visit. In 1961, Purdue University’s “All-American” Marching Band made its first trip to Colombia. At the time, sixty-four band members made the trip and made over thirty appearances in twelve cities. Today, over 190 band members are in attendance and will perform at a variety of events leading up to the parade on August 9 in the city of Medellín.

Back on Purdue’s campus, over 375 students participate in the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band.  Most recently, the band has had several international travel experiences. Some trips included have been Beijing, China as well as Dublin, Ireland, where they performed in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In its 129-year-plus history, the band was the first to break military ranks to form an image on the football field in 1907; it has served as the official band of the Indianapolis 500 Race since 1919, was the first band at a university without a music school to win the Sudler Trophy in 1995, and was the first Big Ten band to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Students in the “All-American” Marching Band continue to perform at Purdue because of their love for music.  The department of Purdue Bands & Orchestras, which includes the “All-American” Marching Band, boasts having over 750 students participate per semester—quite an accomplishment for a non-music degree granting institution. Over 23 different ensembles are offered per year, which include jazz, orchestra, concert band, athletic pep bands, and more.


Trombone Ryan McDonnell wins 2015 Sudler Prize

Ryan McDonnell, has been named the 2015 winner of Purdue’s Sudler Prize in the Arts, marking the tenth time in 12 years a Purdue Bands & Orchestras student has been named Purdue’s top senior in the arts. Ryan has participated in every different type of ensemble within Purdue Bands & Orchestras.  Currently, Ryan plays trombone in both the Purdue Wind Ensemble and Purdue Jazz Band.

Each year, top seniors in the arts are nominated by their respective departments to compete for the award.  Contestants come from Visual and Performing Arts, Purdue Musical Organizations, Purdue Bands & Orchestras and the Purdue Black Cultural Center.

Majoring in Chemical Engineering, McDonnell is a senior from Winter Garden, FL who will be continuing his education at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law in the fall. McDonnell’s talent on the trombone has led him to participate in virtually every ensemble offered at Purdue Bands & Orchestras, sometimes up to three in one semester.

Jay Gephart, Director of the Wind Ensemble, says “Ryan has been a leader in the department throughout his time at Purdue and that contributed to his strength as a Sudler competitor.”

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