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Smart values Patriot Band’s legacy

Kevin Smart, assistant band director at Bob Jones High School, supervises a drill rehearsal during band camp this summer. (CONTRIBUTED)
Kevin Smart, assistant band director at Bob Jones High School, supervises a drill rehearsal during band camp this summer. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – The Patriot Band’s tradition of success was no secret to Kevin Smart. He is working as assistant band director at Bob Jones High School.

“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to work at Bob Jones and be a part of a great band program, school and community. The faculty, administration and community have been extremely welcoming, and we are feeling right at home,” Smart said.

Smart learned that long-time director Doyle Thornton had retired, and Leigh Thomas had been promoted to director. “I jumped at the opportunity to come and work at a great school and help continue the great traditions of the band program,” Smart said.

His primary musical instrument is percussion. “I also like to play a little electric bass in my free time,” he said.

Smart takes pride in his rewarding work to develop the band program at Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tenn. “Over the last four years, the program continued to grow and develop, establishing itself as an up-and-coming program in the East Tennessee area, especially in the marching band arena,” he said.

Smart founded a competitive winter drum line program with about 12 members originally that grew to 28 members in two years. “I’m extremely proud of the students and their willingness to overcome many challenges and continually strive for excellence at the highest of levels,” he said.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in music education at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville and studied percussion with Dr. Eric Willie. Throughout college, he assisted Middle Tennessee band programs with marching and winter drum line.

His wife April is pursuing a degree in nursing. The Smarts have a cat named Lucy.

This year, Bob Jones has 144 students in the competition band and 190 in the football band. The instrumentation involves 52 brass players; 51 woodwinds; 41 percussion; 26 in color guard; 17 in dance team; and three drum majors.

“I’m excited to get to work and continue the great traditions of the Bob Jones Band program,” Smart said.

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