Canon Thomas and Jacob Vogel in Napa vineyards

Alumna Canon Thomas teaches USC Trojan Marching Band Director Jacob Vogel about Napa vineyards. (Photo/Brett Padelford)


Trojan Marching Band goes all out for Day of SCupport ‘Streamathon’

The event — streaming from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday on the band’s YouTube channel — raises money to ensure the organization can continue to send a full complement to USC football away games this fall.

June 14, 2024 By Brett Padelford

From tasting wine in Napa to flying high above Los Angeles and interviewing Hollywood royalty, Trojan Marching Band Director Jacob Vogel promises this year’s second Annual Trojan Spirit Streamathon will be bigger and more spirited. Held in conjunction with USC’s Day of SCupport fundraising initiative, the Streamathon raises money for the band’s travel fund to ensure the organization can continue to send a full complement of musicians, Silks, Song and Spirit leaders, and staff to USC Football away games in the Big Ten this fall.

Last year’s’s Streamathon exceeded fundraising goals and drew thousands of viewers, so it was an easy decision to once again hold the 12-hour event. It will stream live Monday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on the band’s YouTube channel.

Last year, Vogel toured Southern California, going live from iconic locations like the Hollywood sign, Original Tommy’s and Disneyland. This year, he got started early and pre-taped many of the segments with a focus on Spirit of Troy alumni who have interesting careers or hobbies or both. He went flying in clarinet alumnus Barney Lum’s Cessna over Los Angeles then toured USC’s Data Center ,where Lum works as a data analyst. He also shadowed Rob McMillan, the KABC-TV Inland Empire bureau chief, as he reported stories in the High Desert. McMillan is a band alumnus as well as the current Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum announcer for the organization.

Farther afield, Vogel went wine tasting in Napa with USC Song and band alumna Canon Thomas and made guacamole and served tables at Avila’s El Ranchito in Newport Beach with USC Spirit Leader alumna Elyse Avila Smith.

Two luminaries who will surely be recognized by the Trojan community will appear on the Streamathon as well. Mark Hamill spoke with Vogel about his voice acting work and career in Hollywood. Vogel also sat down with USC Women’s Basketball Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb to discuss the team’s Elite Eight run and her basketball upbringing.

In 2023 the Streamathon raised over $50,000. This year, the band has already received $70,000 in matching challenges from band alumni couples Daniel and Sarah Lichtmann, Martin and Donna Lichtman, and Craig Steele and Sue Wright as well as two anonymous donors. The Spirit of Troy hopes to double these matching challenges and exceed $150,000 in contributions this year. The organization relies on donations from the Trojan Family to fund the bulk of its annual travel budget.

“When we first pitched the concept of the Streamathon to our alumni it seemed like a crazy idea,” Vogel said. “But last year we had a tremendous amount of fun and raised a good amount of money for the program, so we upped the ante in 2024. We’ve added celebrity guests and a handful of our notable alumni, and I’m grateful to all these people for giving their time to the band to help garner support from the Trojan Family to help with our Big Ten travels.”

The 2nd Annual Trojan Spirit Streamathon will stream live at from 7am-7pm this Monday, June 17.