Born January 9,1928 in Tullahoma, TN, Joseph Turner Smith has enjoyed 50 years as a music educator. He is a product of the Tullahoma School system, followed by time serving the United States as a Marine. After completing his time with the Marines, Mr. Smith finished his degree at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and later followed that up with more study at Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee.
His first job was at Franklin County High School in Winchester, Tennessee followed by a couple of years at Newton County High School in Covington, Georgia before accepting the position of Marching Band Director and Assistant Concert Band Director at Middle Tennessee State University in 1959. He became Director of Bands at MTSU in 1976 and spent the next 27 years making a significant impact on music education in the Southeast.
During his time at MTSU, Mr. Smith had the vision to create the “Contest of Champions” in 1962, fielding 13 bands that first year and eventually growing to a limited field of 32 bands each fall. The event became nationally televised by PBS after showing commitment to excellence and educational opportunities for students. As the contest grew, Mr. Smith worked to create more opportunities for students. Out of this effort grew the Southeast Instrumental Clinic – a summer camp experience with professional musicians for high school students and directors. In 1985, the contest sponsored the first Wind Band Conference which employed instrumentation for three concert bands. The conference continues to be widely accepted due to the outstanding conductors, composers, and clinicians who represent the very best in the band profession with no fees charged to the student. The “Contest of Champions” also was able to donate more than $30,000.00 to the MTSU Foundation for scholarships for students with a major or minor in music. Other accomplishments based on the success of the Contest of Champions include: the commissioning of two major works for wind band, a performance on the MTSU campus by the US Marine Band under the direction of Col. John Bourgeouis on the 20th anniversary, and a performance of the US Army Herald Trumpets & Drums on the 25th anniversary. The Contest of Champions also pioneered the “Olympic System” of adjudication for marching band competitions which became accepted by many marching band events throughout the United States.
The impact Mr. Smith has made on the numerous students at MTSU and abroad is tremendous and would be impossible to document in short fashion. A few of the contributions to music in Tennessee and throughout the music profession include: the founding of a community band named the Tennessee Valley Winds which has performed at three TMEA conferences, in London, and at the Mid-West International Band & Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. The MTSU University band also made six concert appearances at TMEA under his direction. Mr. Smith served as the Director-Organizer of the All Tennessee Collegiate Band for the purpose of performing for the dedication ceremonies of the Nissan Truck Plant and also chaired the National Band Association marching activities. He was the chairman of establishing the first All Tennessee Concert Band Festival and consulted in the forming of the “Great American Music Festival” in Orlando, Florida. He served on the Executive Board for MTSBOA and served as a board member for the Tennessee Music Educator’s Association.
He held memberships in MTSBOA, TMEA, MENC, CBDNA, NBA, TBA, Phi Mu Alpha, and Phi Beta Mu. Mr. Smith has received numerous awards including six Citations of Excellence from the National Band Association and the Medal of Honor from the Midwest International Band & Orchestra Board. He is a Distinguished Alumni of MTSU and is an elected member of Phi Beta Mu and the American Bandmasters Association. He has been inducted into the MTSU Band of Blue Hall of Fame and has received the National Patron Award for Delta Omicron and the Phi Mu Alpha Orpheus Award. He has been named a Kentucky and Tennessee Colonel and was awarded Professor Emeritus status from MTSU upon his retirement. Even after his retirement, Mr. Smith continues to contribute to the betterment of students at the MTSU School of Music. Recently, Mr. Smith and his wife Billie made a significant contribution of endowing a music scholarship for MTSU band undergraduates who desire to pursue a graduate degree.
It is very difficult to summarize the impact of Mr. Joe T. Smith. He taught us to be the best at everything we do and never settle for mediocrity. He taught us this not only with his musical talent, but also his drive for excellence at being a gifted photographer and master craftsman of furniture and boats. Everything he does, he does with quality in mind. He understood and taught the meaning of hard work, dedication, determination, and professionalism. There is no possible way to adequately thank him for his efforts to make us work to achieve excellence, nor to show on paper the magnitude of his efforts to maintain the highest level of musical brilliance. The countless number of successful music educators touched by Mr. Smith continues to make a difference in the lives of students, professionals, educators, and friends everywhere.
– Sponsored by Terry Jolley, Wayne Tipps, & Craig Cornish
Thomas Lee Tucker was born in Shelbyville, Tennessee and attended school there, where he was a member of the band, which was then directed by the late Jim Hewgley. Upon graduation from high school, he attended Middle Tennessee State University and majored in instrumental music education. Tom was active in various music organizations at MTSU including band and orchestra, as well as ROTC where he served as director of the band. Following graduation, he served two years as a lieutenant in the United States Army as Entertainment Officer at Ft. Bliss, Texas.
Tom and his wife, Carolyn, moved to Columbia in January, 1959, where he was welcomed by the famous Hewgley brothers and hired to teach at McDowell Elementary School. Immediately, Tom began working part-time as a repairman for Hewgley’s Music Shop in Columbia and in the fall of that year he began teaching at Whitthorne Junior High as the assistant band director to Tom Hewgley. When Tom Hewgley resigned in the fall of 1960, Tom Tucker was chosen to fill those very big shoes.
With much hard work and many hours, Tom was able to uphold the grand tradition of the Columbia High School Marching Band, leading them to win the Grand Championship at the Contest of Champions in 1965, 1967, and 1969. In 1969, the Columbia Band was awarded the Inaugural Tennessee Governors Cup by Governor Buford Ellington, proclaiming them as the first Tennessee State Marching Band Champion. Tom, along with his long-time friend and mentor A. R. Casavant (a 2004 inductee to the Hall of Fame) was a part of the development and growth of precision drill for marching bands. Tom traveled extensively as a drill designer and instructor for the Casavant marching staff and quickly became recognized as a “premier” drill designer for marching bands across the country. Tom and his family spent many summers at Camp Crescendo in Kentucky after he was hired by Joseph T. Smith as drill designer and instructor. This eventually led to a tenure as instructor and designer with Joe Smith at the MTSU summer band camps. His drills and custom music arrangements have been enjoyed by students and audiences across our nation.
Tom’s success on the concert stage was just as impressive – receiving ratings lower than Superior only twice in the twenty-four years that his concert bands performed at Concert & Sight-Reading Festival. He, along with co-director Bill Hull, maintained a quality concert band program that performed in various venues across the nation including New York City and Orlando, and for three United States presidents. Composers and clinicians often requested use of the Columbia Concert Band for clinics and workshops. His high standards of musicianship and discipline were an influence on hundreds of young people. The students of the Columbia program were known for their domination of chair placements in both Mid-State and All-State bands, with hundreds of them receiving college scholarships as a result of their musical abilities.
In 1977, Tom left his position at Columbia Central to teach full time at Whitthorne Junior High, also in Columbia. While continuing to supply the Columbia Band program with quality young players, Tom was instrumental in organizing the Maury County Community Band – an organization that has since continued to entertain the citizens of Columbia and Maury County. In 1982 he resigned his position with Maury County Public Schools to devote all his time to Custom Flags, manufacturing flags for marching bands at both the high school and collegiate levels. He continued to support band programs throughout the country through his business, and was always available for consultation and/or advice.
During his career as a band director, Tom’s reputation and expertise kept him busy as both a clinician and adjudicator, and he has served on numerous committees and advisory boards in an effort to increase the quality of instrumental music education. He maintained memberships in TMEA, TBA, MENC, and Phi Beta Mu, and served as President of MTSBOA. In 1985 Tom was inducted into Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia as a Lifetime Honorary member.
In July, 2003, Custom Flags was sold and Tom quietly put away both his conducting baton and flag pole to retire to his woodsy hillside home just outside Columbia. Tom’s legacy has and still continues to influence thousands of band students through former Columbia graduates who have themselves become successful band directors. Tom continues to stay involved in the Columbia and Whitthorne programs as a private instructor for clarinet and saxophone students and often offers invaluable advice to the current directors of the band programs.
In fifty years of marriage, Tom and his wife Carolyn reared three children, Gary, Jim, and Sharon – all of whom are actively involved in musical activities. Tom Tucker’s capability as a director and clinician earned the respect of musicians throughout the State of Tennessee and was sought after by those seeking advice and counsel. His former students respected him not only for his ability to impart a quality musical experience but also because he set a sterling example for them in citizenship, character, responsibility, and integrity. Tom Tucker has made a profound impact on thousands of young Tennesseans throughout his lifetime and these very students recognize Mr. Tucker as a “Giant of their Past”. For this reason and those previously mentioned, I am honored to nominate Tom Tucker for inclusion into the Tennessee Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame.
– Sponsored by Rick Murphy
William Edward Hull was born at Sparta, Tennessee in 1936 and graduated from White County High School in 1954. He attended Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville and received a Bachelor’s Degree in instrumental music education in 1958. During his four years at Tech, Bill was the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships and was Band President and student director of the Tech Troubadours, a seventeen member dance orchestra.
Upon graduation from Tech, Bill’s first job moved him to Bedford County and the Shelbyville school system, where he served from 1958 – 1963. In the fall of 1963, he moved to Columbia to become the brass and percussion instructor and director of the Columbia Central High School concert band and Whitthorne Junior High’s marching band. Collaborating with Tom Tucker for the next fifteen years, the Columbia concert bands were superb, receiving consistent superior ratings in the performance of Grade VI classification music. During the summer of 1968, the Columbia Central concert program was asked to be the featured Clinic Band at Peabody College of Vanderbilt, where the band was conducted by the internationally renowned composer Vaclav Nehlybel. Another featured performance was given in 1970 at the Mid-South Band Clinic in Memphis.
During Bill’s tenure and leadership, the Columbia Band consistently placed 30-35 students in the All Middle Tennessee Bands and 10-15 students in the Tennessee All State Band or Orchestra each year. These very students went on to prestigious universities throughout our nation, receiving scholarships for their musical abilities and, many went on to major in music, becoming successful band directors. In 1978, Bill left teaching for a lucrative position in sales with Henco, Inc., based in Selmer, Tennessee. After several years with Henco, Bill longed to work with band students again, and he returned to Whitthorne Middle School in 1987, where he worked with Connie Cathey for four years and Jim Tucker for six years. Bill retired from Maury County Public Schools in 1998, but continued teaching privately until 2005.
Professionally, Bill is past president of the Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, where he served for three two-year terms. He was on the Tennessee Music Educators Association’s Board of Control for nine years, and has chaired several All State events. He is also a past president of the Tennessee Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, a national band director’s fraternity and recipient of a Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association. He has appeared as clinician and adjudicator throughout the southeastern United States. In retirement, Bill Hull continues to perform on trumpet in several adult community bands and does free-lance work. He and his wife, Jean-Marie, reside in Culleoka, Tennessee.
Bill Hull’s philosophy on teaching is summed up in a quote often used by Don Wilcox, Director of Bands Emeritus at West Virginia University: Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives. Thousands of young Tennesseans have parlayed these words into memorable musical moments that contribute to their musicianship and life experiences and, to the lives they impact and influence through their art. Bill Hull developed compassionate, curious, complex, and complete human beings who appreciate what it means to connect to music for life. For these reasons, I am honored to nominate him for inclusion into the Tennessee Bandmaster’s Association Hall of Fame.
– Sponsored by Rick Murphy
Ken Hull graduated from White County High School in Sparta, Tennessee in 1956. He attended Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee where he graduated in 1960 with a degree in music education.
Upon graduation, Ken returned to Sparta as band director. In his second year his band received the only Superior ratings in Marching and Concert that White County High School had ever earned. In the fall of 1962, he moved to Nashville and taught at North High School one year before moving to Two Rivers High School. Over the next eight years, the band grew to 300 members in grades 7-12. The band received consistent superior ratings in marching, concert, and sight-reading. The band won the Tennessee State Marching Championship and the Contest of Champions at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1970. While at Two Rivers High School, Ken earned his Master of Arts degree in Supervision and Administration from Middle Tennessee State University. In 1971, McGavock High School opened and the next six years brought five consecutive state marching band championship trophies. The band also won the Contest of Champions again in 1972. During those six years, the McGavock band placed 96 members in Middle Tennessee Clinic Band and 41 members in All State organizations. The wind ensemble was selected by audition to perform at the M.E.N.C. National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972. While teaching at McGavock, Ken was active as a clinician and adjudicator in Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, and Florida. Throughout his band career, he was an active member of Middle Tennessee Band and Orchestra Association. His honors include: President of Phi Beta Mu, MAC Award in 1976, Bands of America Advisory Board Member from 1975 to 1977, and the National Band Association Certificate of Merit for Marching Excellence Award in 1985.
Hull’s bands were invited to perform at the Orange Bowl Parade, and The Concert of Spring in Xochimilco, Mexico. Based on his bands’ performances, the McGavock High School Band was invited to march in the Rose Parade in 1978. Ken left teaching in 1977 to work in fund raising with school and youth groups. After a successful twenty-two year career, he retired and lives with his wife, Sandy, in Madison, Tennessee.