Grainger Today Editor
HARRIMAN – The Grainger High School Marching Band ended the 2017 marching season on a high note, winning first place in its class at the Walden Ridge Invitational at Harriman High School.
The band took first place out of seven bands in its class, and fifth place overall out of 15 bands marching in the competition.
The band and Drum Major Elijah Chaffins each received a rating of Superior, and the color guard and percussion sections each received a rating of Excellent.
This year’s band has 45 members: four seniors, six juniors, 18 sophomores and 17 freshmen. Marching season began at the school the week of July 10, and band camp was held from July 16 to July 21. Half of the band’s members had never marched prior to attending band camp.
The theme of the 2017 marching show is Flashback Friday, and begins with the song “We Got The Beat,” followed by “Jeremiah Was a BullFrog,” “Never Gonna Give You Up,” “YMCA,” “Somewhere Out There” and “Don’t Stop Believing.” The Flashback Friday theme was chosen because all of the songs have been played by band groups in the past, and the growth of the band has resulted in a shortage of uniforms. Students wore Rutledge High School uniforms designed by former band director Fred David Romines in 1986 and original Grainger High School uniforms designed by former band director Chuck Sayne when Grainger High School opened in 2009. Drum Major Elijah Chaffins wore a sample of a new uniform, which will be the fourth design since the band began in 1971.
The band’s first director, Dale Pendley, said he still has many fond memories of Rutledge and the community members involved with the creation of the band. Pendley designed the first set of uniforms, which were purchased in the late 1970s.
The Band Boosters have been working to raise funds to purchase new uniforms. One of the biggest fundraisers held was the production of a football program, with many local businesses placing ads.
A banner ad program was offered this year as well, in which business names were printed on banners placed in front of the band section at the football stadium. The first official banner sponsors of the band are: Greenlee Campground, RV & Marine, Knox Rail Salvage, Dr. Joe Gibson Jr., DDS, Citizens Bank & Trust Co. of Grainger County; and Strate Insurance.
Fund raising for the purchase of new band uniforms is continuing. The goal is to purchase 75 uniforms.
Band Director Dr. Kimberly White said all donations, of any amount, are welcome.
Those interested in making a donation or joining the band may call White at the Grainger High School band room at