Chapter News

TN-ASBDA members –  please email with any news item for your band program or an ASBDA colleague’s program. Updates are welcome at any time.


April 2019:


Congratulations to Brock and Vanessa Cobb and The Rossview                                               HS Band for earning the TBA Sweepstakes Award. 

May 2018:

  • Congratulations new ASBDA members recently accepted to national membership!
    • Brock Cobb – Rossview High School, Clarksville, TN
    • Kevin Jankowski – Oliver Middle School, Nashville, TN
    • Monica Leversay – Mt. Juliet Middle School, Mt. Juliet, TN
    • Kathleen Quarto – Rockvale Middle School, Rockvale,TN
    • Laura Shepherd – Donelson Middle School, Nashville, TN
    • Carson Vermillion – Science Hill High School, Johnson City, TN
  • Congratulations to TN-ASBDA members who were selected as 2018 Music Teachers of Excellence by the Country Music Association Foundation! The CMA Foundation created the Music Teachers of Excellence program in 2016 in an effort to recognize the best and brightest music teachers from Nashville and beyond. Award recipients were selected because of their dedication to delivering a quality music program to their students and the impact they’ve had on their school community through music. In addition to a night of celebration, these dedicated educators will each receive $5,000 from the CMA Foundation to not only support their classroom needs, but to support their professional development as well.
    • Joel Denton – Ooltewah High School, Ooltewah, TN
    • Kevin Jankowski – Oliver Middle School, Nashville, TN
    • Julie Jolly – West End Middle School, Nashville, TN
    • Barry Trobaugh – Munford High School, Munford, TN

April 2018:

  • On April 28, the Meigs Academic Magnet School Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Franklin Norris, performed at the Grand National Adjudicators Invitational concert performance competition in Chattanooga, TN. Over 1,000 Jr. and Sr. high school band students representing programs from as far away as Massachusetts performed for a panel of world-renowned adjudicators. The students received personal feedback from both Colonel Tom Rotondi and Colonel Bryan Shelburne, both recently retired commanders of “Pershing’s Own” United States Army Band in Washington D.C. The Meigs Wind Ensemble was named as the Grand National Adjudicators Invitational Jr. High Honor Band, making the ensemble a two-time recipient of this honor. In addition, they were awarded Judge’s Distinction Awards for High Overall Brass and High Overall Percussion, and a Judge’s Distinction Award was presented to 7th Grade student Hannah Chen (Flute) for Outstanding Soloist.
    Meigs Magnet M at Grand NAI 2018

    Meigs Academic Magnet School Wind Ensemble members and their director, ASBDA-TN member Franklin Norris.


  • TN-ASBDA member activity at the TN Music Educators Association state conference, April 12-14 at Gaylord-Opryland Hotel, Nashville:
    • Clinic presentation, “Ensemble Sight Reading – Answers to the Questions You Didn’t Know to Ask,” – Susan Waters, Alan Hunt, Joel Denton and Paul Waters
    • Performance by the Oliver Middle School Woodwind Choir, director Susan Waters
    • Conference Exhibits Chair – Jo Ann Hood
    • Conference Registration Chair – Mark Garey
    • Conference Performance Group Chair – John Mears
    • All-State Instrumental General Chair – Todd Shipley
    • All-State 11th/12th Grade Concert Band Chair – J.R. Baker
    • TMEA Jazz Education Policy Chair – Rich Ripani
    • TMEA State Band Chair – David Chipman
    • TMEA State Orchestra Chair – Michelle Clupper

March 2018:

  • Susan Waters, Oliver Middle School, hosted a large-ensemble sight-reading clinic at Oliver Middle for Vanderbilt Music Education majors. Students in attendance got to go through a full sight reading prep session with our wind ensemble.  The student gave instructions to the band for 6 minutes and conducted the UIL level 3 composition.  Afterwards the students received feedback from me as well as some members of the wind ensemble.  An extremely worthwhile clinic and an invaluable experience for the both the Oliver students and the Vanderbilt students.
  • Susan Waters served as guest conductor for the Western Kentucky University Middle School Honor Band as well as for the Alabama Bandmasters Association District IV Middle School Honor Band in Birmingham.

January – February 2018:

  • Todd Shipley, Martin Luther King Magnet High School, Nashville, TN was chosen as a Metro-Nashville Public Schools Blue Ribbon Teacher in February, 2017. Currently he serves as the All-State Instrumental Ensemble Chair for TMEA  and serves as a representative on the MTSBOA Executive Board. He also has the tremendous responsibility of All-Mid-State Clinic Coordinator for MTSBOA’s two All-Midstate weekends of concerts for all six concert bands, three jazz bands and three orchestras in the MTSBOA area
  • Barry Trobaugh of Munford High School in Memphis, TN is the current president of Tennessee Bandmasters Association. He is also the musical director and conductor of the Memphis Wind Symphony. The Munford band will be performing in the 2019 Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, CA.
  • The Oliver Middle School Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Susan Waters, Kevin Jankowski and Katie Harrah, performed at the CBDNA/NBA Southern Division Conference in Tampa, Florida February 22nd.
  • Mark Garey, Freedom Middle School, Franklin, TN, has been an administrative director of the Music City Drum and Bugle Corp since its founding in 2009 and currently serves as Vice President of the MCDC Board of Directors. In summer of 2018, they will be competing in the DCI World Class for the first time. In addition, he is currently the Chairperson of the Middle TN State University Band of Blue Hall of Fame.
  • Jeff Phillips of Hendersonville High School was guest conductor for the St. Louis, MO Region 8 High School Honor Band; while there, he also presented professional development sessions to the Ft. Zumwalt band and orchestra directors. Back in Tennessee, he was guest speaker at Robertson County’s professional development day and served as guest conductor for both the Maury County’s High School All-County Concert Band and the Gateway Music Association’s Middle School Honor Band. ASBDA Past-President Phillips is finishing his final year on the TMEA Executive Board as Immediate Past President. As a faculty member at Belmont University, in the past year he has toured Atlanta and Chattanooga schools with the Belmont University Brass Quintet and presented a recital at Belmont with tuba instructor James Land.

December 2017: 

  • Joel Denton of Ooltewah High School in Ooltewah, TN, presented a clinic session titled, “Why We Do What We Do: “Creating Memorable Masterpieces in a World of Stick Figures” at the Midwest Clinic on Friday, December 22, 2017. Joel was featured in the Chattanooga Chatter Magazine in a feature on Chattanooga high school bands. Joel is currently serving as TN State Chair for the National Band Association.
  • Carole Smith Grooms, Freedom Middle School, Franklin, TN, is the Chairperson the ASBDA Publications Committee and is currently organizing the development of a new edition of the ASBDA Curriculum Guide.

August 2017:

April 2017:

  • The Stewart’s Creek Middle School Band, Andrew Lynn conductor, was selected to perform for the 2017 TMEA Professional Development Conference.  The band performed an exemplary program in the Presidential Ballroom at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center at 1:00 PM on Thursday, April 6.

  • Jeff Beckman (McGavock High School, retired,) was inducted into the Tennessee Bandmasters Hall of Fame during the annual concert and presentation during the TMEA conference on Friday, April 7.
  • Carole Smith Grooms presented “Teaching for Independence,” a clinic session on concept-based teaching, and Jeff Phillips presented a clinic titled “How to Know When to Pull The Trigger” at the TMEA Professional Development Conference held April 6 – 8.
  • True to ASBDA’s expectation that its members are active and involved in their district and state music associations, other TN ASBDA members involved in the 2017 TMEA Conference include:
    • Ron Meers – TMEA Executive Director
    • Mark Garey – Registration Chairperson
    • Jo Ann Hood – Conference Exhibit Chairperson
    • Martin McFarlane – All-State General Instrumental Ensemble Chairperson
    • David Chipman – TN State Band Chairperson
    • Michelle Clupper – TN State Orchestra Chairperson
    • Rich Ripani – TN State Jazz Chairperson
    • John Meers – Conference Auditions Chairperson
    • J.R. Baker – 9/10 All-State Band Chairperson
  • The Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences Wind Ensemble, under the direction of David Butler, was one of nine high school bands & orchestras from across the country selected to perform at the 2017 Symphonic Series at Carnegie Hall on March 20. Their performance included works by Dukas, Goto, Sousa, Dello Joio, and Verdi. The ensemble also got to participate in a workshop with clinician Jerry Luckhardt, University of Minnesota, and attend a performance by the New York Philharmonic, which included a world premiere by cellist YoYoMa.
  • The Oliver Middle School Wind Ensemble, under the direction of TN ASBDA member Susan Waters, along with Katie Harrah and Kevin Jankowski, was invited to perform at the Music For All Southeastern Regional Concert Festival in Atlanta, GA on March 21.  Oliver performed a 30 minute program at the event held on the campus of Georgia State University which was followed by a clinic conducted by Gary Greene and Cheryl Floyd. Oliver is very honored to have been a part of this event.

  • Jeff Phillips was presented with the Middle TN State University School of Music’s “Distinguished Alumni” award in April, 2017.

March 2017:

  • The Union City High School Band, under the direction of John D. Easley, marched in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade.
  • The Bearden High School Band, under the direction of Megan Christian, performed at the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  They were one of only eight performing ensembles to receive a 30 second TV spot.

  • The Tullahoma High School Band (Justin Scott, Martin McFarlane, directors and Greg English, administration) travelled to Hawaii and performed at Pearl Harbor on March 15.
  • The Hume Fogg Silver Jazz Band was invited by Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra to open their concert at the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall in Nashville. The Hume-Fogg Jazz Combo performed at the University of Louisville Jazz Fest 2017. The group was selected as the Festival’s Honor Band. They were then honored to be asked to open a concert for jazz great Wycliffe Gordon. Rich Ripani is the director.

February 2017:

  • The Greeneville High School Band under the direction of Brooke Williams performed a joint concert with the Annie Moses Band from Nashville at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center on Feb. 19.

  • Carole Smith Grooms presented a clinic session, “Using Sightreading Tech Tools to Teach More Than Sightreading” at the 2017 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention in San Antonio.
  • The Hendersonville High School Band (Jeff Phillips) performed their second annual Black History Month Concert and was also selected for the Belmont University Wind Band Festival. The Hendersonville Jazz bands will perform this spring at the Murray State University Jazz Festival and the Haynes Community Festival in Nashville. The jazz groups will perform at the Tennessee Legislative Plaza for the first TMEA “Hill Day” on March 7.
  • Jeff Phillips was selected as a finalist for the Music and Arts corporation’s “Music Educator of the Year” for 2016.

January 2017:

  • The Ooltewah High School Band, under the director Joel Denton, marched in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA on January 1.
  • Mathew Williams received the Teacher of the Year Award for 2016 both at West Greene High School and for the Greene County School District.

December 2016:

  • As part of the University of Alabama’s Middle School Honor Band Festival, the Oliver Middle School Wind Ensemble (Susan Waters, director) was selected to perform for over 200 band students and directors. This 30 minute concert on December 8 was the opening event for the festival and was intended to inspire and motivate the participating students.

  • Roane County High School Wind Ensemble, under conductor Zack Williamson, presented a winter concert on December 6 at Roane State Community College along with the Tennessee Wind Symphony, under conductor Ric Best and guest conductor and clinician Dennis J. Zeisler, of Old Dominion University.

November, 2016:

  • The Hendersonville High School Symphonic Band, under the direction of Jeff Phillips, continued their community outreach concerts with their 19th annual Veterans Concerts in November which they performed at their school and again at the Tennessee Grand Masonic Lodge in Nashville as hosted by the Valley of Nashville Scottish Rite Masons.

April 2016:

  • TN-ASBDA members appearing at the Tennessee Music Education Association’s annual In-Service Conference, April 13-16 included:
    • The Ravenwood High School Wind Ensemble, Brentwood, TN, under the direction of Mark Kinzer performed as the featured band at the TN Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame Concert.
    • Jim Burton presented the session “Technology for Beginning Band.”
    • Joel Denton presented the session “Why We Do What We Do.”
  • TN-ASBDA members serving in leadership positions for TMEA include:
    • Dr. Jeffrey Phillips, current TMEA President
    • Ron Meers, current Executive Director of TMEA
    • Jo Ann Hood – Exhibits chairperson
    • Mark Garey – Registration chairperson
    • Michael Chester – Managing Editor of The Tennessee Musician, quarterly publication of TMEA
  • Barry Trobaugh, Teacher of the Year at Munford High School, was named a regional finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the Year

February, 2016:

  • Susan Parks Waters served as guest conductor for the Conductor in Residence Project at Brentwood High School, Brentwood, TN; the Georgia Music Education Association District VII Middle School Honor Band, Ringgold, GA; and as conductor of the White Band at the Mississippi State University Honor Band, Starkville, MS.
  • Susan is also serving as the Music Division Lead for the State of TN Department of Education in the rewriting of the state’s music curriculum standards, based on the new National Core Arts Standards. She is heading a team of fourteen, nine writers and four reviewers, from among our music teaching colleagues across the state.
  • The Greeneville High School Band, under the direction of Brooke Williams, performed in concert with the Dallas Brass on February 11.
  • The West Greene High School Band, under the direction of Matthew Williams, shared a concert with the East TN State University Band on February 23.
  • 135 Exercises in Jazz Rhythm, by Rich Ripani, has recently been published by Jazz For All Publishing. (See This book joins The New Blue Music: Changes in Rhythm & Blues, 1950-1999, published by the University Press of Mississippi and currently held in the libraries of over 1000 colleges and universities, worldwide.

January, 2016:

  • At the All-Mid-State Honor Band and Orchestra clinic weekends in January, Eric Scott wrangled the organization and supervision of the whole thing, serving as the MTSBOA All-Mid-State coordinator; Philip Gregory and Rich Ripani presented directors’ professional development sessions on sound and audio and on teaching improvisation, respectively.
  • Mark Garey was named Teacher of the Year at Freedom Middle School, Franklin, TN
  • Mondale Rogers was named Teacher of the Year at Coffee County High School, Manchester, TN.
  • Philip Gregory was named Teacher of the Year at Siegel Middle School, Murfreesboro, TN.
  • Phillip Simpson was named Teacher of the Year at Lavergne Middle School, Lavergne, TN. (Rutherford Co.)
  • Matthew Williams was named Teacher of the Year at West Greene High School, Greeneville, TN
  • Barry Trobaugh was named Teacher of the Year at Munford High School, Munford, TN
  • Andrew Lynn served as guest conductor for the Williamson County Band Directors Association Middle School Honor Band, January 28-29.

December, 2015:

  • John Hearnes‘ arrangement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, published by Row-Loff Productions, was performed by the Westfield High School Percussion Ensemble from Houston, TX, at the Midwest Clinic on December 16. John’s work is also featured in Icesicles, a Collection of 9 Christmas Tunes for 6 Percussionists, newly published by Row-Loff.
  • The Ooltewah High School Band, under the direction of Joel Denton, has been invited to march in the January 1, 2017 Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, CA.
  • Carole Smith Grooms presented “Teaching For Independence” at the Midwest Clinic, in Chicago, IL, was named one of “50 Directors Who Make A Difference” for TN in School Band and Orchestra Magazine, and her work was published in the December GIA release, Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz, Volume 2, in which she contributed the Teacher’s Resource Guide for “Just Friends.”

November, 2015

  • The Roane County High School Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Zach Williamson, performed a joint concert with the Tennessee Tech Wind Ensemble at the November Intrumental Symposium.

June, 2015: 

  • Debbie Burton has been elected President-Elect of the Middle TN School Band and Orchestra Association.
  • Roane County High School Band, under the direction of Zack Williamson, will be performing with the University of TN Pride of the Southland Band at the U.T. vs Western Carolina football game on September 19, 2015. The band also participated in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York in March 2015.

April 2015: 

TN-ASBDA members at the 2015 Tennessee Music Educators Association annual in-service conference, held April 8 – 11, in Memphis:

  • The Oliver Middle School Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Susan Waters (ASBDA) and Katie Harrah, performed in concert Thursday, April 9. The program included:
  • The Tullahoma High School Symphonic Band, under the direction of Justin Scott and Greg English, performed for the Tennessee Bandmasters Association’s Hall of Fame concert. The program included:
  • ASBDA National Associate Membership Chair, Joseph Hermann, Director of Bands at Tennessee Technological University, was inducted into the Tennessee Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame.
  • The Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School’s Silver Jazz Band, under the direction of Rich Ripani, performed Thursday, April 9. Rich has also been appointed as the Jazz Chairperson for the state, overseeing the TN Jazz Caucus.
  • Mark Garey is serving as Conference Registration Chairperson.
  • Debbie Burton is serving as TN State Band Chairperson, overseeing the TN Band Caucus.
  • Joel Denton is presiding as current president of TN Bandmasters Association.
  • ASBDA members’ bands receiving the TN Bandmasters’ Association Sweepstakes award this year include:  Mark Garey, Carole Grooms-Freedom Middle School; Susan Waters-Oliver Middle School;
  • TN-ASBDA member Rich Ripani was inducted to Phi Beta Mu, Eta chapter.

May 2014:

 Michael Chester is now Editor-in-Chief of the Tennessee Musician, quarterly publication of the TN Music Educators Association.