More To The Story: UTC Band program

Dave Staley finds out why the marching band at UTC is growing so much these days

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – 61 year old Randall Coleman took over the reigns as UTC Band Director back in July. Coming from Tuscaloosa. After 14 years as assistant band director at Alabama.

Coleman says he was looking for one last career challenge. In this, his 40th year of teaching band.

But he was shocked to find out that the Mocs marching band had only 33 members. 33.

So Coleman did what he does: he went to work. And that hard work is paying off. Because as we speak, the band membership is up to 127. From 33 to 127.

Why were the numbers so low last summer? Many reasons. COVID-19 tops the charts.

“The last two years have been a challenge for everybody. Especially with music groups and theater. Those things that do best live. It’s certainly been a challenge for the fine arts. So that had a big impact for just about every program in the country.”

The Mocs band has gone through many directors over the past 10-15 years. Coleman says it’s hard to build continuity because of that.

He says what he’s trying to do is build relationships, specifically with high school band directors.

And he’s recruiting. Something that doesn’t really need to be done at the bigger schools.

But at a smaller school, it’s vital.

“Providing a quality product is very important. High school students want quality. We work hard to provide a product that students want to be a part of. And our city and the whole state will be proud of.”

Coleman says the UTC administration has been very supportive of his work. He says everybody is on the same page. With a vision, towards the future.

From UTC, Dave Staley, News 12 Now

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