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The Sound of USD to be Appearing at Mardi Gras

In Feb. 2024, The Sound of USD will travel to New Orleans, Louisiana, to march in two parades at Mardi Gras. They will be featured in Endymion, which is the largest parade, and Orpheus, which is a newer parade.

Mardi Gras has years of cultural history behind the tradition and it brings in millions of people every year. Todd Cranson,  director of The Sound of USD, said he’s excited for the marching band to have experience in these parades.

“It will be fun for the USD band and group of people that go to see the different neighborhoods of New Orleans and march through them,” Cranson said. “It will be two different experiences.”

Cranson is a familiar attendee at Mardi Gras as he is from New Orleans and would march in parades with his high school marching band. He took time to reach out to his contacts still there to add The Sound of USD to some of the parades.

“Because I know a little bit about all of the parades, I had an idea of what I wanted to do,” Cranson said. “I inquired about those parades and they were thrilled to have a New Orleans native come back and bring a university team.”

The parades are about 5-6 miles long, with the time extending to a couple of hours. With Endymion being the largest parade, there is an expectation of the event lasting 12-full hours. There will be a block party to kick off the event, which will be followed by the parade and end with an after-party.

“Since COVID-19, I feel like we have been due for an experience like this,” Cranson said. 

The Sound of USD will prepare for these parades throughout the season, especially during football season. The first halftime performance for the football season will be a Mardi Gras show, and they plan to take excerpts from this show to play in the parades. 

“I have a lot of faith in our student musicians because they do an outstanding job at all of the things they do,” Cranson said. “They will be in great shape by the time we make an appearance at Mardi Gras.”

Cranson said he is most excited about sharing the cultural experience with the students. They will have time there to immerse themselves in the experience as a group. Rachael Cooper, one of the feature baton twirlers, said she’s looking forward to being there as a group.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime, and I always enjoy representing USD in other places around the country,” Cooper said. “I am looking forward to performing in front of thousands of people, immersing myself in the culture and having fun with The Sound of USD.”

Cranson is still finalizing the details of the trip so more announcements will be posted on their social media @TheSoundofUSD in the future.