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Mobile's University of South Alabama to Build $10M Marching Band Complex

Mon September 11, 2023 - Southeast Edition
University of South Alabama

The new Jaguar Marching Band complex will be constructed on the south side of Hancock Whitney Stadium. (University of South Alabama rendering)
The new Jaguar Marching Band complex will be constructed on the south side of Hancock Whitney Stadium. (University of South Alabama rendering)

The University of South Alabama (USA) in Mobile has announced plans for the construction of a $10 million indoor and outdoor band complex that will provide a permanent home for the Jaguar Marching Band.

"We are committed to giving our students the very best at the University of South Alabama," said USA President Jo Bonner. "The Jaguar Marching Band provides the soundtrack for our university. This new home will boost recruitment and scholarships as we move forward as the flagship of the Gulf Coast."

The complex will replace the transportation services building on the south side of Hancock Whitney Stadium and will encompass 24,700 sq. ft. of space. It will house a full ensemble rehearsal hall, drumline rehearsal studio, color guard rehearsal studio, dressing rooms, offices, a music library and essential storage space for uniforms, instruments, props and gear, the university noted on its website.

In addition, the complex will include a full-size lighted practice field identical to Abraham A. Mitchell Field at Hancock Whitney Stadium.

A reception was held Aug. 31 to unveil plans for the new facility.

"This will be a game-changer for the Jaguar Marching Band and our university band program," noted Will Petersen, USA director of bands. "The ability to have a dedicated facility where we can rehearse outside or inside is a dream come true. We'll no longer have to worry about having our operations spread across campus and figuring out how to make it work."

For the first time in the Jaguar Marching Band's 15-year history, the university will be able to provide room to house the entirety of the squad's instructional space, equipment, instruments and uniforms under one roof.

"We will be able to increase our band and music course offerings, recruit more high school students [from] across our state and the Southeast, create outreach and recruitment events to get talented music students on our campus, and offer scholarship opportunities to grow the band to 300 members and beyond," Petersen said.

Construction will be completed by 2026 at an expected cost of $10 million, the school said, including $5.9 million from the state, commitments from the Jaguar Marching Band, and donations from alumni and friends. In addition, supporters can invest in the band and help shape the future of the program with a gift of support.

USA President Emeritus V. Gordon Moulton, the university's second president, was instrumental in creating the Jaguar Marching Band in time for the fall 2009 semester with 140 members. Following a successful inaugural season, its membership grew to 170 in 2010 and 190 in 2011.

Today, the USA band is 250 members strong and performs at a wide variety of events on campus, in the Mobile community and throughout the Gulf Coast region.

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