The Marching Southerners travel to France, participating in events marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day


Marching Southerners in France for 80th Anniversary of D Day

The Marching Southerners performed with other ensembles, choirs, and JROTC students at an official public ceremony held at St. James American Cemetary. Additionally, on Saturday, the band had the opportunity to participate in a parade that began in the first village liberated by American troops following the landing, Sainte-Mere-Eglise.

"This was an incredible and proud moment for our students," said Dr. Ken Bodiford, Jax State Director of Bands. "We were deeply honored to pay tribute to the courageous men and women who fought to liberate Western Europe and change the course of World War II."

This was not the first time The Marching Southerners had traveled to Europe for a high-profile event. In 2012, they led the parade celebrating Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee in London, marking her 60th year in power. In 2016, they traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii to play for the 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and in 2019, the band marched in the World Peace Day Parade in the Vatican and received a blessing from the Pope.

Most recently, in December 2022, the Southerners won the prestigious Sudler Trophy, the highest award given to college marching bands once every two years. Jax State was the smallest university ever to win the trophy since the awards began 40 years ago.

D Day Collage