Seymour Band History
732 Boyds Creek Hwy
Seymour TN 37865
From the Beginning
Friends and family of the Seymour High School Band,
Thank you for supporting the Seymour High School Band! Your support is vital in the bands quest to entertain East Tennessee and the surrounding region.
The first Seymour High School Band was formed in 1962 under the direction of Mr. King. 1962 marked the first year of Seymour High School in the Sevier County School System, and the first year of band. The band came and went for several years. Some years there was band, some years there was not. In 1968 Mrs. Grace Early conducted the band. There is not much history of the band between 1962 and 1972. In 1972, the school started a Pep Band with full time band director Chuck Sayne.
The Marching Band began to take the form we know today in the late seventies and early eighties under the the direction of Ken Jarnagin. At that time the band began traveling and competing, winning several large contests. Craig Valentine was Mr. Jarnagin’s successor, staying one year at Seymour. Mr. Jarnagin returned for one more year before moving on with his aspirations to become a principal and superintendent of several larger schools.
Terri Hogan was Seymour’s next director. Though the band was considerably smaller under Ms. Hogan, they became a force to be reckoned with in East Tennessee.
When John Gallagher was handed the reigns in 1989, Seymour Marching Band was at 31 total members. During Mr. Gallagher’s seven year stay at Seymour, the band began to grow again, & continuing in their winning tradition.
In 1996, Michael Carter, a Seymour Band Alumni stepped onto the director’s podium. Using knowledge he had accumulated as a student and instructor under Jarnagin, Valentine, Hogan, Gallagher and time in Pride of the Southland, Mr. Carter took the band to new levels of leadership, learning, and musicality. During Mr. Carter’s twelve year stay at Seymour, the Marching Band was ranked twice in the top 10 in the nation by the USSBA.
In 2006, Rhett Butler took the helm, and the band grew exponentially during his tenure. Mrs. Britney Butler joined the Seymour Band as a full time teacher in 2010. Mr. Jason Franklin joined the staff in 2008, but was moved to full time in 2011 as a teacher at Boyd's Creek Elementary. Under the direction of Mr. Butler, Mrs. Butler, and Mr. Franklin, the band formed very competitive winter programs for Color Guard and Percussion. These groups began competing in several states on the WGI, CIPA, and ETPAA circuits making quite a name for themselves and the Seymour High School Band program.
In June of 2018, Director Jacqueline Messinetti and Assistant Director Joseph Cole were brought into Seymour to join Mr. Franklin in competing with some of the largest powerhouses in the Southeast United States. The Seymour High School Band continues to grow in number of members and in quality of musical performances. Directors Messinetti and Cole have upheld and continued to raise the bar for students as well as expanded the long term goals of the band program. Both of Seymour's concert bands most recently received straight Superior Ratings at ETSBOA Regional Concert Festival, a first for the SHS Program.
Throughout the history of Seymour High School Band, countless stories and recollections have been given of how Seymour Band has changed the lives of everyone involved. The work ethic, positive attitude, friendships, sense of loyalty, and pride that are instilled in these young people and there families continues to be a priceless gift.
Through your continued support, the Seymour High School Band will continue to grow, educate, entertain, and change lives for generations to come.
The band competes annually in several of largest, most prestigious contests in the nation including Bands of America Regionals and the Contest of Champions.
2010 - present
2010 - present