This weekend, the Dobyns-Bennett Band concludes their competitive season at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, IN. This event features the best-of-the-best high school marching bands from across the country, and in the world of music, is the true national championship. D-B has advanced to the semi-final round in all of their championship appearances, including this year. Later today, they will compete for the opportunity to be a part of tonight’s elite finals competition.
This week, the Saturday Six looks at six things to know about the Dobyns-Bennett Band program!
- With a membership that often approaches 400 members, the D-B Band is consistently the largest marching band in Tennessee… Even larger than the Pride of the Southland Marching Band at the University of Tennessee!
- While you will often see the D-B Band at events across Kingsport, it’s national reputation for quality has provided opportunities to perform around the country. In recent years, the band has performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, at Carnegie Hall, and in the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Parade.
- As one of the most successful music programs in Tennessee and America, the walls of the D-B music building are lined with national awards, recognitions, and trophies. Most recently, they were named winner of the Bands of America Regional competition in Winston-Salem, NC, the fourth straight year to capture that award. They also finished third overall at this year’s BOA Atlanta Super Regional, winning the top prize for Outstanding Music Performance among all bands!
- Under the direction of Band Director Lafe Cook and outstanding staff, the D-B Band is the only band in Tennessee to have received both the prestigious Sudler Flag of Honor and the Sudler Shield from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The Flag of Honor recognizes high school band programs internationally for sustained excellence in concert performance, while the Shield does the same for marching band excellence.
- Members of the band don’t stop performing once they graduate from D-B. You’ll find former D-B musicians performing at colleges and universities such as Harvard, Yale, Vanderbilt, Julliard, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, East Tennessee State University, and many other major college programs, such as the University of Tennessee!
- While the backbone of the band program is certainly the talented young musicians and staff that work so hard to perfect their craft, there is an army of supporters that also gives their all for the success of the program. The D-B Band Boosters is a large organization comprised of parents and community supporters that labor year-round to provide the physical, logistical, and financial support needed to have a world-class program. To find out more about the band or the boosters, check them out at www.dbband.org.
We would also be remiss if we didn’t point out that the D-B Band program builds on incredibly solid middle school programs at Robinson and Sevier Middle Schools. Headed by Hunter Mullins (Sevier) and Kim Hutchinson (Robinson), students in grades 6-8 are not only taught solid music fundamentals, but are also grounded in the KCS musical culture of commitment and excellence. #OneTribe
Will the D-B Band qualify for the finals tonight at the Bands of America Grand National Championship? To find out, follow along on the D-B Band Facebook page, the D-B Band Twitter account, and the live BOA blog at musicforall.org.
Re: #5: don’t forget MTSU! Jeff Upshaw and five other students won first place in the Collegiate Chamber Ensemble competition at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention) this weekend, too!