The John Philip Sousa Foundation has announced that the McCracken Middle School Band from Skokie, Illinois has been selected to receive the coveted "Sudler Silver Cup" award for 2006. The McCracken Band was the only middle school band selected from the entire United States and Canada to receive this International honor in 2006.

The Sousa Foundation's Sudler Cup is the highest recognition of excellence that can come to a middle school band program. During the nineteen years the award has been in existence only thirty four junior high school or middle school bands from the entire United States and Canada have received this honor.

The presentation will take place during a concert to be performed at the Niles North High School in Skokie, May 14 at 7:00 PM

The Sudler Cup is sponsored by the John Philip Sousa Foundation in order to identify, recognize and honor outstandingly fine junior high school and middle school concert band programs throughout the United States and Canada that have demonstrated particularly high standards of excellence in concert activities over a period of seven years.

The director of the McCracken Band will receive a beautiful silver cup with his name and the name of the school engraved at the base. In addition, a bronze plaque will be presented to the school for permanent possession and each current member of the band will receive an attractive individualized diploma.

To be eligible for nomination for the award a middle school band must have achieved and maintained particularly high standards of excellence in the concert area over a period of seven years under the same conductor. Although the band's concert activities receive the most attention in the selection process, the program in the school must be a complete one and include participation in solo and ensemble activities by its individual members.