Band Name: Ocean of Soul

Band Director: Mr. Clarence Gibson 

University President – Dr. Austin A. Lane

Location:  Houston, TX

The marching band at Texas Southern University (TSU) was founded in 1969 by Benjamin J. Butler II. Under the direction of Clarence K. Gibson, Ocean of Soul performs at all university home football, SWAC home basketball games, various parades and university sponsored events, on national television, and before crowds at professional athletic games. The Ocean gained a reputation for its soulful sound, heavy beat, precision drills, and intricate dance routines.

Besides TSU’s televised football and select home basketball games, The Ocean has been featured in other events. Several Pro Football games for the Houston Oilers and the Houston Texans. Also the band has performed for the Dallas Mavericks fans in Dallas, Texas.

TSU BAND MILESTONES:

In 2004, the Ocean of Soul was featured in Super Bowl XXXVIII‘s halftime show along with the Spirit of Houston.

In 2005, The Ocean performed on the Stellar Awards with Kirk Franklin.[3]

In 2008, The Ocean performed at their first Honda Battle of the Bands in the Georgia Dome. The Ocean was the only band to receive a standing ovation after performing that year.[4]

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”.

In 2014, The Ocean of Soul performed at the premiere of The Wedding Ringer in Houston. Co-star Kevin Hart accepted his invitation to become an honorary lifetime “Ocean” member at the event and donated $50,000 to the band.[5]

Also in 2014, The Ocean of Soul performed at TSU alumnus Michael Strahan Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio. Strahan donated $100,000 to the band for their outstanding support.[6]

In 2016, The Ocean Of Soul performed the opening sequence for Fox Sports NFL Sunday in Houston, live on national television from Discovery Green.

In 2017, several members of The Ocean of Soul performed live with Solange for her performance of her hit single “Don’t Touch My Hair” on campus.[7] Also the band was invited to lead the celebration parade for the Houston Astros 2017 World Series Championship through downtown Houston that had 750,000 in attendance.[8]

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