Marching Band Transformation Earns Students College Scholarships
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Marching to the beat of their own drummer is earning Hunters Lane High School students college scholarships.
"We had to hit the ground running," band director William Brooks said. "We had a lot of ground we needed to make up."
Brooks is just a few years older than his students. Still the recent MTSU graduate is wasting no time making his mark.
"We've gone from a (so so) band to a really good band over the course that he's worked here," baritone player Austin Williams said.
All you have to do is compare a performance today with one years ago and the growth is evident. Many describe it as a total transformation. Even colleges are taking notice.
"The band director at Concordia he was my old band director when I lived in Alabama," trumpet player Domonic Hudson said.
That same band director from Concordia College in Alabama asked to speak to all nine Hunter's Lane seniors in the marching band.
"After hearing a couple of kids play he said you know what I don't need to hear another word, I'll take them all," Brooks recalled about the conversation. "So he offered them all scholarships."
"He came in talking to us and he told us that I'm willing to offer you all money to come play for my band because I want to have the baddest band in the land," Hudson said.
The scholarship covers at least 25 percent of their tuition, with the opportunity to earn more. Add in other free financial aid and the entire tuition is will likely be covered.
"I'm definitely considering it, definitely," Williams said. "It's on my list."
For Brooks nothing sounds better than an opportunity to make a difference in his student's lives.
"It makes me feel special," Hudson said. "All the hard work that we put into this…(they're) finally rewarding us."