The Sudler Silver Scroll is the highest honor that a North American community band can achieve. A work of the John Phillip Sousa Foundation, the goal of the award is "to identify, recognize and honor those community bands that have demonstrated particularly high standards of excellence in concert activities over a period of several years, and which have played a significant and leading role in the cultural and musical environment in their respective communities".
A community band must apply for the award by documenting the group's contributions to the community. The application may include examples of community service, cultural contributions, and musical excellence.
Each band applying for the award must submit recordings of recent performances, to be judged by the committee for musical excellence, which is done without the judges knowing the identities of the applicants. Only after the award determinations are completed do the judges learn which community bands have applied for the award.
The Knightwind Ensemble is the third Wisconsin community band to be honored with this award. The honor was also given to the Kiel Municipal Band in 1990 and the Racine Concert Band in 1994.
In all the years that the Sousa Foundation has been awarding the Sudler, and of the many thousands of community bands across North America, the Sudler Silver Scroll has been awarded only 31 times!
Click here to link to the John Phillip Sousa Foundation site.