Dept. of Music


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This writer found a frustration while researching and writing this history. The things one really wants to know about cannot usually be found. Will Durant wrote in The Story of Civilization: Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting, and doing things historians usually record-while, on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry, whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happens on the banks. You will find some interesting events in the following pages, but you will not find everything. You will not find the name of the first song the University of Chattanooga Band played, how Professor Blinn Owen felt about stepping down as the first Dean of the Department of Music when it merged with the Cadek Conservatory, or what the reaction of the crowd was when the band played a Spanish tune for the first time in the late sixties. These are the kind of events and happenings that this writer would like to have found in the research, especially for the early years of the University Band. This is not to be, however. Alas, we will have to settle for what witnesses selected to tell us, for it is unlikely that they realized they were "historians" at the time they recorded it! While there is thought to be some limited evidence that a band may have existed in the 1890s at U. S. Grant University, the predecessor of the University of Chattanooga, this history is limited to the existence of the University of Chattanooga to spring 1979. Barry Jones, Director of the U.C./U.T.C. Band from 1967, died that next fall and was its most heralded leader. The years 1967 to 1979 were the Band's most successfol years to that point in its history. U. S. Grant University was changed to the University of Chattanooga by charter in 1907. In turn, the University of Chattanooga joined the University of Tennessee system and became the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1969. In the United States, permanent bands were organized around the beginning of the nineteenth century. These were mainly minstrel bands, professional bands, town bands, and industrial bands. College bands began to appear in the last few years of the 1800s. World War I helped meet the need for qualified band directors by providing the opportunity for band leaders to be trained in the military. By 1923, public school bands had become a great force in music education and a national school band tournament that year had convinced the musical instrument manufacturers of the school band market potential. The University of Chattanooga band had a strong beginning in 1923. National trends and favorable geography positioned the Band to become a regional influence in instrumental music education. During its long history, however, it has struggled at times to take advantage of these early assets. However, the struggle is the story, and the following pages tell something of what happened.


The author wishes to thank Dr. Stuart M. Benkert, Associate Director of Bands, and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, who first suggested this project. The U.T.C. Bands are in good hands for the future. Dr. Steven Cox, U.T.C. Special Collections Librarian, has been invaluable. He began the research before I showed up, and was always on the lookout for material. All photographs used are from the University Special Collections Archives, unless otherwise noted. Very special thanks to Dr. William R. Lee, Professor of Music Education at U.T.C., who never gave up on my finishing this degree, and to Mr. Anthony J. D' Andrea, Director of Bands at U.T.C. , who inspired me to continue in Instrumental Music Education. Thanks, Mom and Dad and family, for putting up with my abnormal? habits during this long process! I acknowledge the grace of God, without which, nothing would be possible. All things are possible through Jesus Christ, God's son.


B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.




Marching bands--Tennessee--Chattanooga--History


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga--Bands


Music Education

Document Type

Research papers


viii, 124 leaves





Call Number

LB2369.7 .L46 2004