Jackson State University's Sonic Boom of the South (2024-2025)


bernard

THEE Realist
‘6 Minutes to Glory: The HBCU Band Experience’ is a tribute to the distinctive and fascinating culture of Black Marching Bands – The Halftime Show. Focused on one HBCU band per episode, viewers will get an insider look at the band through the eyes of the students, their thoughts on why they chose an HBCU, and the excitement of being selected to participate in the HBCU All-Star Battle of the Bands.

 
(JACKSON, MS)Jackson State University’s Sonic Boom of the South Marching band is set to appear on AspireTV’s 6 Minutes to Glory: The HBCU Band Experience on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 7 pm CT. The network, which celebrates and reflects Black life, style, and culture, will debut the second season of two episodes each week for three weeks with a “HBCU Alums: Where are they now?” special on Saturday, Feb. 24.

“This is an opportunity for band fans and supporters to get an up close and personal look into the dedication, passion, and talent of our students and staff. It is a celebration of HBCU band culture,” said Roderick Little, Ph.D., director of bands at JSU. “The Sonic Boom has a storied legacy. Our students understand this and work hard and play harder. AspireTV is giving them deserving recognition while showcasing the grit and commitment it takes to be a member of one of the best bands in the land.”

Premiere Schedule:

Saturday, Feb. 3


8 pm ET – Jackson State University – Sonic Boom of the South

8:30 pm ET – Alcorn State University – The Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite

Saturday, Feb. 10

8 pm ET – Grambling State University – Tiger Marching Band

8:30 pm ET – Prairie View A&M – Marching Storm

Saturday, Feb. 17

8 pm ET – Texas Southern University – Ocean of Soul

8:30 pm ET – Alabama A&M University – Maroon and White Band

Saturday, Feb. 24

8 pm ET (hourlong episode) – HBCU Alums: Where are they now

 
Click here to visit HBCUSportsStore
(JACKSON, MS)Jackson State University’s Sonic Boom of the South Marching band is set to appear on AspireTV’s 6 Minutes to Glory: The HBCU Band Experience on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 7 pm CT. The network, which celebrates and reflects Black life, style, and culture, will debut the second season of two episodes each week for three weeks with a “HBCU Alums: Where are they now?” special on Saturday, Feb. 24.

“This is an opportunity for band fans and supporters to get an up close and personal look into the dedication, passion, and talent of our students and staff. It is a celebration of HBCU band culture,” said Roderick Little, Ph.D., director of bands at JSU. “The Sonic Boom has a storied legacy. Our students understand this and work hard and play harder. AspireTV is giving them deserving recognition while showcasing the grit and commitment it takes to be a member of one of the best bands in the land.”

Premiere Schedule:

Saturday, Feb. 3


8 pm ET – Jackson State University – Sonic Boom of the South

8:30 pm ET – Alcorn State University – The Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite

Saturday, Feb. 10

8 pm ET – Grambling State University – Tiger Marching Band

8:30 pm ET – Prairie View A&M – Marching Storm

Saturday, Feb. 17

8 pm ET – Texas Southern University – Ocean of Soul

8:30 pm ET – Alabama A&M University – Maroon and White Band

Saturday, Feb. 24

8 pm ET (hourlong episode) – HBCU Alums: Where are they now

The Sonic Boom was a trailblazer in many ways for the SWAC bands. It is time for them to reclaim their crown! Dr. Little is bringing back precision to the drills, if we can only get the J-cettes to get back to the precision that Narah Dean Otis and Betty demanded or you would not get on the field! 4 girls was fine with her! Lol! Love The Boom!!!!
 
Community funds tuition for Jackson State University student

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Jackson State University student wanting to finish school was willing to do whatever it took, offering to do manual labor and more.

He offered to work through crowd-sourcing and in hours met his goal.

“It’s always been, hey can I work for this? Can I earn this,” said Terrion Mayo.

The Jackson State University junior turned to social media to offer his services to pay a nearly $4,700.00 balance owed to the university.

“I was getting into detailing like for as far as cleaning cars, doing lawn work,” said Mayo. “Anything, just any type of labor that would help me get to my goal.”

The Sonic Boom of the South member stayed out of school for a year working to earn enough money to complete his degree in music technology. He said he humbled himself to ask for help.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHPDIzNNeBA
 

It’s All A Blur: JSU Sonic Boom of the South Alumni Band touring with rap icon Drake​


When Drake and J.Cole launched the “It’s All A Blur – Big as the What?” tour on Feb. 2 in Tampa, Florida, social media was in a tizzy. Yes, the world had been anticipating the megastars’ link-up, but fans were further sent aflutter when Jackson State University’s Sonic Boom of the South Alumni Marching Band high-stepped into Amalie Arena with their signature sound and showmanship.

While people debated if it was indeed the Boom, Christopher “CJ” Gibson, who is Drake’s road manager, a graduate of Jackson State, and a former member of the Boom, confirmed that an extension of the Summa Cum Laude of bands is indeed touring with the superstar.

“The first ‘It’s All a Blur Tour’ featured 21 Savage as a co-headliner. As we were planning the tour’s second leg, we changed the artist. This new tour is with J. Cole as a headliner, so they just wanted to add a different aspect from the old tour,” Gibson explained. “Drake came up with the idea to make it a sports theme show, and he wanted to add a marching band. Now, everybody we work with knows that I was in the marching band.”

 
Last edited:

This Is The HBCU Band Usher Brought To The Super Bowl Halftime Show​

At Usher’s much-awaited Super Bowl halftime show, the Sonic Boom of the South from Jackson State University made a surprise appearance.

The HBCU marching band accompanied Usher on the field as he performed highlights from his two decades of work at the Super Bowl halftime stage in Las Vegas. The director of bands, Dr. Rodrick Little, issued a letter to Roc Nation, Apple Music, NFL, Usher, and Apple Music, thanking them for the opportunity to perform.

“Usher, NFL, Apple Music, and Roc Nation for the opportunity to share the world’s largest stage with one of the most iconic performers of our time! We had a blast! The past 10 days in Vegas have been rewarding for our students and program in preparation for a show that won’t be forgotten,” the letter began.

“Over the years, the Jackson State University Sonic Boom of the South has shared the stage and screen with stars like Drake, Lil Boosie, Ciara, Cedric the Entertainer, Lil Jon, Big Krit, Pastor Troy, Jon Batiste, J. Cole, Yo Gotti, Dear Silas, F.L.Y. and more,” the letter continued. “From Motown’s 30th Anniversary to the NBA AlI-Star Game to the NAACP Image Awards to the Inauguration of President Joe Biden, we are always honored when given the opportunity to represent our University, City, and HBCU community on the global stage.”


View: https://twitter.com/SonicBoomOTS/status/1756857103975632965

View: https://twitter.com/SonicBoomOTS/status/1756861371172495793
 
Last edited:

How Jackson State's Sonic Boom of the South band kept its Super Bowl 58 appearance a secret​

When R&B superstar Usher hit the stage at halftime of Super Bowl 58 on Sunday in Las Vegas, the fans in Allegiant Stadium quickly were on their feet rocking with him. So was the Jackson State band, The Sonic Boom of the South.

There were 123.4 million viewers watching the halftime show of the NFL championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, including a shocked audience of Jackson State students, faculty and alumni around the world. Also surprised were the band’s family members, who knew the band was performing somewhere but had no clue where.

That's because the band had successfully kept the news of its invitation to perform at the world's most-watched sporting event a secret for more than three months.

Here’s what we know

Dr. Lisa M. Beckley-Roberts, chair of the department of music at Jackson State, said the initial invitation to perform in the Super Bowl was extended in November 2023, and there was a lot of back and forth while working with Jackson State legal counsel and the entertainment group that was putting the show together. The final confirmation was set in December.

There was a key stipulation in the contract: The Sonic Boom of the South's appearance had to be a surprise.

“It was the hardest secret to keep,” Beckley-Roberts said. “Our band went into overdrive preparing. Our band is the summa cum laude of bands for a reason.”

Band director Dr. Roderick Little, Beckley-Roberts and a few other university staff sworn to secrecy had to make academic arrangements with professors for the almost 100 students who would be spending 12 days away from campus to rehearse and then perform in Las Vegas. The paperwork cited "a special performance." Even faculty in the music department were kept in the dark about what was going on.

 
Last edited:
Click here to visit HBCUSportsStore
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjpjEnmcGrQ

Mississippi Today Editor-at-Large Marshall Ramsey sits down with Jackson State University’s Director of Bands, Dr. Roderick Little, to talk about The Sonic Boom of the South’s incredible Super Bowl LVIII halftime performance with Usher.

Little tells the incredible story of how a text led to the Sonic Boom of the South landing on the biggest stage in the world. It’s one of my favorite interviews.
 
Last edited:

What Usher told Jackson State's Sonic Boom of the South during Super Bowl 58 pep talk​

Jackson State’s Sonic Boom of the South marching band’s Super Bowl experience was breathtaking for band members Tiereny Clark and Jonathan McDonald.

Clark, a junior from Memphis and the piccolo section leader, said the hardest part of the trip was not being able to tell her family the band was set to perform in the Super Bowl 58 halftime show alongside headliner Usher.

“It was a crazy, crazy experience,” Clark said. “As soon as we arrived in Las Vegas, and got off the plane, we had to get our credentials at Allegiant Stadium to start rehearsals.”

A pep talk from Usher​


The band rehearsed with Usher, singer-songwriter giant Alicia Keys and rapper Ludacris, among other stars who appeared in the Super Bowl 58 halftime show.

One of the highlights for Clark was when Usher gave the band a pep talk during a rehearsal. Usher greeted Clark with a dap as she sat in the front row. Usher told the band to enjoy the moment, and to have fun, because that is what entertainment is — having fun.

“It was a really big moment for me,” Clark said. “I thought I was special for that one little moment. I was excited.”

Later in the day, the band played for Usher and he danced to their music.

Keys passed by the band and said hello.

 
Back
Top