About Us

Welcome to the AU Eagles Pep Band!

Founded in 1930, the American University Pep Band is the university's musical spirit at athletic events, community activities, and various university functions. Our membership includes a diverse range of backgrounds including students from all academic colleges & majors, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. In addition, our members are involved in a wide-variety of campus activities, fraternities and sororities, clubs, athletic teams, and societies, and come from all parts of the country.

The AU Eagles Pep Band's primary function is to help foster school spirit on the American University campus. We accomplish this with performances at athletic events (men's basketball and women's volleyball games) and other functions, including pep rallies and alumni events. On average, the Pep Band performs at 20 school functions per semester.

The AU Eagles Pep Band is also proud to perform annually at the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall and the National Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring. In recent years the band has also enjoyed performing outside the Verizon Center for fans before attending a basketball game and we have also had opportunities to travel and perform with the AU Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams when they qualify for the NCAA tournaments.

For questions about the AU Pep Band, please email the student leadership, PepBand@american.edu


Meet the Director

Ben Sonderman is a Musician in Residence at American University where he serves as director of the AU Pep Band.  Additionally, Sonderman is director of the American University Symphonic Band, an active arranger for athletic bands and a freelance percussionist in the Washington D.C. Area.

A passionate advocate for the arts, Sonderman has both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education from Ohio University. In his role as a graduate assistant for the Ohio University Marching 110 he guest conducted various ensembles, co-directed the Ohio University pep band, and assisted in the daily operation of the Ohio University Marching 110 under the direction of Dr. Richard Suk. Sonderman also held a graduate assistantship with the OU percussion department, during which he taught applied lessons in percussion, organized community outreach events, and conducted and arranged works for the percussion ensembles under the direction of Roger Braun.  After his graduation, Sonderman worked as the lead music teacher for Cesar Chavez Public Schools for Public Policy Parkside Campus where he was influential in music curriculum design and founded the CCPCS High School Drumline.  He remains an active performer in the D.C. area playing in several orchestral and choral groups and serving as the principal percussionist for the Washington Sinfonietta.

Contact Ben Sonderman by email, ben.sonderman@american.edu