Ocean of Soul

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The Ocean of Soul Marching Band
School Texas Southern University
Location Houston, Texas
Conference SWAC
Founded 1969
Director Professor Richard F. Lee, Clarence K. Gipson, Darryle Singleton and Edwin Rose
Members 200+

The Ocean of Soul, also known as the The Ocean, is the marching band of 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 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 Maverick fans in Dallas, Texas.

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".

In 2014, the Ocean of Soul and Motion of the Ocean performed at the premiere of The Wedding Ringer in Houston. Co-star Kevin Hart accepted his invitation to become an honorary "Ocean" member at the event.[4]


With more than 200 members, the "Ocean" is the largest student organization on campus and a centerpiece of the university. The "Ocean" is led by three drum majors and is anchored at the Band Hall on campus.


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. Members of the Motion squad competed on MTV's America's Best Dance Crew (Season 5). 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

Also a number of local high school band directors are alumni of TSU’s marching band.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]