Ocean of Soul

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The Ocean of Soul Marching Band
School Texas Southern University
Location Houston, Texas
Conference SWAC
Founded 1969
Members 200+

The Ocean of Soul, also known as the The Ocean, is the marching band of the Texas Southern University, and is currently under the direction of Richard F. Lee, Darryl Singleton and Clarence K. Gibson.


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

Notable performances[edit]

Besides TSU's televised football games, The Ocean has been featured in other events.

Several Pro Football Games for the Houston Oilers and the Houston Texans.

In 2004, the Ocean of Soul was featured in Super Bowl XXXVIII's halftime show along with the Spirit of Houston. This is the halftime show in which Janet Jackson exposed her breast at the end of her performance with Justin Timberlake. [1][2]

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

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".


With more than 200 members, the "Ocean" is the largest student organization on campus and a centerpiece of the university.


The percussion section, known as The Funk Train Drumline, is the largest and most highly visible section of Ocean of Soul, followed by trumpets and trombones. The band also includes piccolos, clarinets, baritones, saxophones, mellophones, and high powered sousaphone section, known as Platinum Funk.

The band is noted for its majorettes, the lovely Motion of the Ocean. The flashy color guard and baton twirlers comprise related sections.

Leadership camp[edit]

Each summer, students attend the Band Leadership Camp, an intensive introduction to choreographed dance routines and flag drills, training in corps and show style marching techniques, music theory and leadership skills.


Many former members of Ocean of Soul have achieved success in the music industry including Grammy award-winning jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum. Nationally known mixtape DJ, Dj Hollygrove.[4] A number of African-American band directors are alumni of TSU’s marching band.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Houston Bands March at Super Bowl XXXVIII". CHRON. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  2. ^ "TSU Ocean Of Soul to March at Super Bowl XXXVIII". TSPN. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  3. ^ "RECAP:Stellar Award 20th Anniversary Taping 2005". Gospel Flava. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  4. ^ "Chopstar Djs". Retrieved 2012-10-24. 

External links[edit]