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Concert Band

  • American Bandmasters Association Convention: 2017
  • The Tennessee Music Education Association Convention: 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016
  • New York Wind Band Festival in Carnegie Hall: 2015
  • The Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic: 2002, 2009
  • Percussive Arts Society International Convention: 2009
  • The Music for All National Concert Festival: 2006
  • John Philip Sousa Foundation's "Sudler Flag of Honor:" 2005
  • The Music Educators National Convention: 1996
  • The National Band Association/College Band Directors National Association Southern Division Conference: 1999
  • 18-time recipient of the Tennessee Bandmasters Association Sweepstakes Award
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Marching Band

  • John Philip Sousa Foundation's "Sudler Shield:" 2014
  • Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: 1984, 1990, 1994, 2004, 2011
  • Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade: 2002, 2007, 2014
  • Presidential Inaugural Parade: 2013
  • The Lord Mayor of London's Millennium Parade: 2000
  • Featured performance at the University of Tennessee football game halftime: 2011
  • Contest of Champions Tennessee Governor's Cup: 2006, 2007, 2014
  • Bands of America (BOA) Regional Champions: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • BOA Grand National Semi-finalist: 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • BOA Grand National Finalsit: 2016

The Tradition Begins

The Tradition COntinues

Professor S.T. "Fess" Witt

The Dobyns-Bennett High School Band is one of the most respected high school band programs in Tennessee and in recent years has gained national prominence. It has an established tradition of musical excellence and achievement that has been fostered for over eighty years.

Professor S.T. “Fess” Witt came to Kingsport from Norton, Virginia to organize Dobyns-Bennett’s first school band in 1926. The first band, comprised of 45 students, consisted of ten cornets, twelve clarinets, five trombones, two alto horns, six saxophones, three basses, two baritones, two drums, two fifes, and one piccolo.

For many years the Dobyns-Bennett Band had a tradition of parading through the streets of downtown Kingsport before football games to excite residents for the“big game.” During World War II, the band would gather to send off Kingsport Servicemen as they left for service. The band would also participate in a parade to honor the school’s graduates every spring. 

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Today the Dobyns-Bennett band program is comprised of a football marching band and color guard, competitive marching band and color guard, three concert bands, and a percussion ensemble. Everyone in the band program participates in the football marching band which performs a half-time show designed to entertain our football fans at both home and away games. The football marching band also participates in local and national parades. Our competitive marching band and color guard members are selected based on musical and marching abilities and their desire to achieve a high degree of artistic excellence. Their show is performed in local, regional, and national competitive venues.

Our concert season begins immediately following the conclusion of the marching season. Every student auditions and is placed in one of our three concert bands - Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, or Concert Band. Each student’s chair placement is based on the musical ability demonstrated in their audition.

All three of our concert bands perform several local concerts
that are free and open to the community. Our Symphonic
Band & Concert Band also perform at district concert festivals. The
Wind Ensemble represents Dobyns-Bennett, Kingsport, and the State of Tennessee at state, national, and international concert festivals and conventions.

The Dobyns-Bennett band program is proud of its diversity and works diligently to meet the needs of all our students based on their musical ability and dedication, not their economic situation.