Ocean of Soul
|The Ocean of Soul Marching Band|
|School||Texas Southern University|
The marching band at Texas Southern University (TSU) was founded in 1969 by Benjamin J. Butler II. Under the direction of Richard Lee, Ocean of Soul performs at university home football games, on national television, and before crowds at professional athletic games. The Ocean gained a reputation for its sound, heavy beat, precision drills, and intricate dance routines.
Besides TSU's televised football games, The Ocean has been featured in other events.
In 2012, The Ocean of Soul's drumline, "The Funk Train", became the first black collegiate showstyle drumline in history to compete in the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC)'s Marching Festival. The drumline placed 3rd and gained an award for "Best Cymbal Line".
With more than 200 members, the "Ocean" is the largest student organization on campus and a centerpiece of the university.
The percussion section, known as The Funk Train Drumline, is the largest and most highly visible section of Ocean of Soul, followed by trumpets and trombones. The band also includes piccolos, clarinets, baritones, saxophones, mellophones, and sousaphones.
The band is noted for its majorettes, the lovely Motion of the Ocean. The flashy color guard and baton twirlers comprise related sections.
Each summer, students attend the Band Leadership Camp, an intensive introduction to choreographed dance routines and flag drills, training in corps and show style marching techniques, music theory and leadership skills.
Many former members of Ocean of Soul have achieved success in the music industry including Grammy award-winning jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum. Nationally known mixtape DJ, Dj Hollygrove. A number of African-American band directors are alumni of TSU’s marching band.
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