Since its old traditions began back in 1937 with a modest membership of just twenty‐one, The Franklin Band, with the exception of a brief respite during WWII, has consistently held a position of distinction in our community of Franklin, Tennessee.
Through the ensuing years of continued dedication, determination and dogged perseverance, The Franklin Band reached its first contemporary pinnacles in 1980 and 1981 under the able baton of the legendary Wayne Simpson (1968‐2003). Boasting a large membership, nearly 290 in 1996, The
Franklin Band would begin gaining attention as the Tennessee State Marching Band Champions these two years running and
then would go on to be invited to march in the nation’s most prestigious parades including The Tournament Of Roses Parade
and The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (twice, once with “Lead Band” distinction).
Rumblings of new beginnings for The Franklin Band began in 2007 with the vision of new director David Aydelott taking the podium, who was selected in 2010 to represent Tennessee by the publication School Band & Orchestra as one of “50 Directors Who Make A Difference.” In 2014, Mr. Aydelott received the laudable distinction of becoming a Legion Laureate in the Bandworld Legion of Honor awarded by the John Phillip Sousa Foundation. Mr. Aydelott was also inducted into the MTSU Band of Blue Hall of Fame in the spring of 2015. In celebration of Music for All’s 40th Anniversary in 2015, David Aydelott was featured in “Forty For Forty: Educators Who Have Made a Difference”, profiling music educators who have made a difference in Music for All and in band and orchestra education.
In 2011, The Franklin Band established a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and marched its first steps in the “deep end” at the Bands Of America Grand National Championships held in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis with a 44th place finish. The band returned to Grand Nationals in 2012 finishing 24th after having been awarded Grand Champion at a Bands of America Regional and the Contest of Champions and the Tennessee Governor’s Cup as Tennessee State Marching Champions for the first time since competing under the direction of the late Mr. Simpson.
The Wind Ensemble and the newly‐formed Percussion Ensemble received a prestigious invitation to perform at the distinguished Music For All National Music Festival in the spring of 2013. With consistent Superior Ratings for its ensembles and students earning chairs in Mid‐State Honor Band, All‐State Band, Governor’s School and National Honor Bands and Orchestras, The Franklin Band was clearly laying the foundation for an exemplary and global music program of national recognition. Ever persistent, The Franklin Band continued its climb into the upper echelon of America’s finest marching bands by again winning Grand Champion at a Bands of America Regional and the Contest of Champions and Tennessee Governor’s Cup as Tennessee State Marching Champions for the second consecutive year in 2013. This season was capped by an impressive 15th place finish at the Bands of America Grand Nationals, just three places shy of realizing the 10‐year BHAG that was set “to become a Grand Nationals Finalist by the year 2021.”
The 2014 season was highlighted by a Bands of America Indianapolis Super Regional award of Class AAA Champion and a third consecutive finish as a semi‐finalist at the Bands of America Grand National Championship. The Franklin Band finished the year as the recipient of the most prestigious international award bestowed upon a marching band: The Sudler Shield, presented by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The rebirthed Franklin Winterguard, in just its second season, won the 2015 Southeastern Color Guard Circuit SAA Class Championship, finishing as Tennessee State Champions. Also In 2015, The Franklin Band instituted solo, ensemble and chamber groups as well as the re‐emergence of a jazz program. The newly‐formed Franklin Winds were invited to the inaugural Music for All National Chamber Music Festival in March 2015.
Fall 2015 and the show “…But Now I See” realized more milestones including a third COC Grand Championship and Tennessee Governor’s Cup prize in the past five years. The season ended with a fourth consecutive performance as a semi‐finalist at the Bands of America Grand National Championships, finishing as Class 3A runner‐up and 13 th place overall. This 13th placement was just 0.6 of a point from qualifying for a position in Finals (Top 12) and was the highest achievement to date for The Franklin Band. “Mastermind” in 2016 gave rise to the most ambitious production in the band’s history and was awarded its third Top Twenty BOA Grand Nationals placement. The Tennessee Governor’s Cup and Contest of Champions Grand Championship honors stayed at Franklin and by Spring 2017, the Percussion Ensemble was invited back to the Music For All National Festival again along with the Saxophone Quartet. The Wind Ensemble capped the school year with a distinguished invitation to perform for the Bandmasters Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Tennessee Music Educators Association convention, where they gave a new benchmark performance as The Franklin Band’s premiere group.
The #1 Core Value of The Franklin Band is COMMUNITY…”The community in which we live and our own community within Franklin High School shape who we are and in return, we shape it.” As ambassadors of the city of Franklin representing its people and their values, the revolving membership of The Franklin Band hopes to Leave A Legacy not only through achievements within its own ranks but also within the minds and hearts of those that have embraced them and been honored by their commitment to excellence and integrity.