Tennessee State leaves its mark on Florida

The Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands is the Band of the Week here at Gameday.  As we described earlier in the year, we don’t pick the band of the week based on any particular performance or merit.  Our staff couldn’t collectively carry a tune in a bucket so we leave the analysis to you guys. We just try and honor the tradition of HBCU Marching Bands and spread the love across the HBCU Universe.

We went with AOB this week because we’ve seen them a couple of times already this year and the football team is on fire.  Hot band, undefeated football team and a happy fan base, just keep feeding those Tigers red meat.



More than music

Tennessee State

Courtesy TSU News Service

I read a few hours after posting a mashup of their performances where members of the AOB helped clean up storm damage from Irma while in Florida for the Tampa Classic. The kids from the band helped clean up in Cypress Point Park and Gadsden Park, areas that were hit by 85 MPH winds.

“I am really elated to be able to help the people of Tampa in their time of need,” Eyonchrisshea “Shea” Dumas told Emmanuel Freeman of the TSU News Service.

Dumas is a majorette in the band and a senior healthcare administration and planning major.

“The band program is a well-rounded program where we encourage our students to be Aristocrats both on and off the field,” said Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of bands. “Promoting academic success, service projects in the community and overall great people, is the band’s norm.”

Not alone

I’m sure other bands and students have done their fair share of community service this year and in year’s past.  Tennessee State students aren’t unique in that regard. Other students from Texas, Louisiana, and Florida maybe had to deal with the storms in their homes and neighborhoods.  They still found a way to make it onto the field despite their adversities.  I get that.

Still, it’s so great to honor a group of kids for their hard work on the field and realize they’re doing much more off the field.  The city of Tampa appreciates it as well.

Meg Heimstead, artistic supervisor of creative arts in the Tampa Department of Parks and Recreation told the TSU News Service that the city is grateful for the band’s help.

“A huge thank you to the band for helping the City of Tampa clean up after the storm,” Heimstead said.  “I can’t tell you how much we appreciate it.”


Hats off to you Tennessee State and the Aristocrat of Bands.  You are the Band of the Week.

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