The 50th anniversary of the DeKalb County High School Fighting Tiger Marching Band has been recognized with a proclamation from the Tennessee General Assembly.
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver read the following proclamation during half-time festivities at the Tiger football game Friday night:
“Whereas, the art of creating music has long been an important part of humanity, serving as a voice for those traits that make us truly human, preserving our history and forging bridges between diverse cultures; and
“Whereas, the members of the General Assembly are proud to recognize the DeKalb County High School Marching Band on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of that August; and
“Whereas, with the consolidation of the county's high schools in 1963 the formation of the DeKalb County High School Fighting Tiger Marching Band, under the directorship of Don Behm, came about, and from 1964 through 1968, Mike Williams stood as the band director; and
“Whereas, in 1969 the gentleman who would come to be known as the Grandfather of the DeKalb County High School Marching Band, Fowler Stanton, began an eight-year stint as director, during which time the Fighting Tiger Marching Band excelled, and was a force of over 100 students; and
“Whereas, from 1977 until 2007, a plethora of others served as director of this distinguished group of student musicians; however, Mr. Stanton was never far away from the practice of performance fields. Faithfully, he encouraged every student who pursued their musical talents in band and steadfastly, he supported every director who led the band over the last one-half of a century; and
“Whereas, from 1980 until 1997, with the exception of a one-year hiatus, Randy L. Rhody, a former student of Mr. Stanton, was director of bands, and he ushered in a new era of music and growth for DeKalb County High School. His leadership would take this program to new levels and create a wealth of talent that would garner regional and national recognition for the program, and he kept it on a continuous track of distinction and high acclaim for which it is still known today; and
Whereas, in 1997, Shannon Pirtle became band director and for seven years, he, too marshaled continuous improvement in the excellent band program of DeKalb County Schools; and
“Whereas, ensuing yearly changes of directors, however, deterred stability and disrupted the continuity necessary to foster and affirm musical excellence among individual students and the body collectively and produce the stellar field performances to which the schools and the community were accustomed; and
“Whereas, now under the directorship of Jonathan Wright, who assumed that position in 2008, the DeKalb County Schools band program has thrived and regained its high status as a powerhouse of talent, fostering the musical talents and performance interests of middle school students now as has been done with high schoolers across the past five decades; and
“Whereas, over the past 50 years, the DeKalb County Schools' band program and music instruction has enriched the lives of students and yielded countless awards in scholastic competitions; and
“Whereas, as in the past, today's band members enjoy the unfettered support of staff, band boosters and alumni; and the businesses and people of the community as a whole, and it is fitting and timely that this legislative body recognize the DeKalb County Fighting Tiger Marching Band on their 50th anniversary; now, therefore,
“I, Beth Harwell, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the One Hundred Eighth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, at the request of and in conjunction with Representatives Terri Lynn Weaver and Mark Pody and Senator Mae Beavers, do hereby proclaim that we congratulate the director and members of the DeKalb County High School Fighting Tiger Marching Band on the occasion of their 50th anniversary and extend to them our best wishes for success in every future endeavor.
“Proclaimed in Nashville, Tennessee on this the 10th day of October, 2013."