If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Drum major Daniel O’Donnell led the Marching Southerners in front of the U.S.S. Missouri in Hawaii in December 2016 in a performance honoring the seventy-fifth anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Photo submitted
Special to the News
It has been 79 years since 156,000 American, British and Canadian troops landed on the northern coast of France for a massive military assault that would change the course of World War II.
As the world remembers D-Day on Tuesday, June 6, Jacksonville State University’s Marching Southerners are gearing up to participate in the eightieth anniversary in France in 2024.
The world-renowned marching band will travel to France next summer to perform in ceremonies and events honoring the anniversary of D-Day. They will participate in services at St. James American Cemetery and Normandy American Cemetery and march in a parade in the first village liberated by American troops, Sainte-Mere-Eglise.
“This will be an amazing experience for our students,” said Dr. Ken Bodiford, JSU director of bands. “We are honored to help salute the brave men and women who fought to liberate Western Europe and turn the tide of World War II.”
This is not the first time the Southerners have crossed oceans to perform. They led the parade celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in London in 2012, participated in the seventy-fifth anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in 2016 and marched in the World Peace Day Parade at the Vatican in 2019.
As with previous trips, alumni, friends and fans are invited to accompany the band on this once-in-a-lifetime trip to Normandy and Paris. An itinerary and reservation information is available at www.jsu.edu/france2024.
Established in 1956, the Marching Southerners band is the pride of JSU, serving as not just game day entertainment, but also as ambassadors for the institution. Housed within the Dr. David L. Walters Department of Music, the 500-member band is comprised of a diverse group of students from across campus, many of whom are studying to become high school band directors.
In 2022, the Southerners were awarded the top honor bestowed to college marching bands, the Sudler Trophy from the John Phillip Sousa Foundation. Learn more at www.marchingsoutherners.org.