West Tennessee Marching Championships

Department of Music

108 Fine Arts

16 Mt. Pelia Rd.

Martin, TN 38238


(731) 881-7402


Dr. Julie Hill, Chair

West Tennessee Marching Championships



UT Martin has a proud tradition of hosting marching competitions including the original Skyhawk Marching Band Invitational and now The West Tennessee Marching Championships. Our philosophy behind the contest is built upon not only excellence in performance, but also excellence in education. This years contest will take place on Saturday, October 20, 2018. Most contest information, including the application, is listed below and will be updated regularly.


Please direct all questions to Dr. Bill Waterman, Director of Athletic Bands (wwaterma@utm.edu or 731-881-7401).


Contest Application

Applications for the contest are currently closed.
Please contact Dr. Waterman (wwaterman@utm.edu) with any questions.


General Contest Information

Band Runners

UT Martin Skyhawk Marching Band members will be assigned to each participating band and will be responsible for hand stamps, wristbands and guiding you through your experience on campus. Runners will meet buses at the designated parking area (Pacer Pond or Stadium Lots) to deliver wristbands and assist with parking.


Wristbands – Non-Performing Personnel

Wristbands will be included for all directors, staff members, field assistants and bus drivers for each ensemble. The maximum number of non-performer wristbands will be 20 per band. Band parents and other attendees not mentioned above should enter through the ticket booth.



Maps for the City of Martin and UTM campus are enclosed. Please familiarize yourself with the Warm Up Locations, Stadium and Parking.


Warm Up

Each band is assigned a 30-minute warm up in one of three locations on the quad. Please familiarize yourself with your band’s schedule, the location of your band’s site on the enclosed campus map and the travel path to from the warm up site to the stadium.



Admission to the contest for spectators is as follows:

  • $10 – Age 12 and above
  • $5 – Age 6-11
  • Free – Age 5 and under


See the enclosed parking map detailing where your buses and equipment trailers should be parked. Buses must be parked where assigned on the parking map. Equipment trailers may be parked in the lot designated on the map near the stadium.


Field Entry Logistics

Similar to previous years, Front Ensemble equipment will enter the field from the north end of the home stands of the Stadium. Winds and Battery will enter from the north end of the opposing stands and exit on the south end. Bands will not be allowed to enter the field until their designated start time.


Programs, Air Grams & Skyhawk Marching Band Merchandise

Programs will be available to purchase for $1 each.


Air Grams are a great way to show your support of your loved one on the field. They are announced over the public address system before and after your band performs. The charge is $1 per Air Gram, cash only, and they may be purchased at the UT Martin Band table.


Skyhawk Marching Band merchandise will be available for purchase.


Director’s Hospitality Area

We are very grateful to Reece King and Amro Music for sponsoring the Director’s Hospitality Area again this year in the Bob Carroll Football Building. Please stop in for delicious grilled food!



Food and beverages will be available from our Concession Stand all day. The sisters of Sigma Alpha Iota will be selling sunglasses and nachos and the brothers of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia will be selling fried pickles and funnel cakes again this year.


Equipment/Trailer Unloading

If you will be using your front ensemble in your warm up, feel free to unload at the closest point to your warm up area (Humanities/Clement Circle, Meek Library, Gooch Hall/east side). If you have a semi trailer, getting through the smaller streets inside campus may be impossible, so please plan accordingly. If you are not using your front ensemble during your warm up, you may unload in the stadium parking lot. Please see below for Bus and Equipment Vehicle parking information.


Parking – Buses & Equipment Vehicles

Schools' buses will be parked in the following lots: TBD



Admission to the contest for spectators is as follows:


$10 - Age 12 and above
$5 - Age 6-11
Free - Age 5 and under


Contest Schedule

Prelims Schedule

Gates open at 10:00am


11:50 AM National Anthem

12:00 PM West Carroll High School

12:15 PM South Side High School

12:30 PM Houston County High School

12:45 PM Ripley High School

1:00 PM Fayette Academy

1:15 PM Bolivar Central High School

1:30 PM Hopkins County Central High School

1:45 PM Huntingdon High School

2:00 PM Break

2:07 PM Chester County High School

2:22 PM Dyersburg High School

2:37 PM Dyer County High School

2:52 PM Peabody High School Band of Gold

3:07 PM McNairy Central High School

3:22 PM Milan High School

3:37 PM Break

3:44 PM Henry Co. HS

3:59 PM Marshall Co. HS

4:14 PM Obion County Central High School

4:29 PM Union City High School

4:44 PM UTM Exhibition

5:00 PM Awards Ceremony

Finals Competition Starts at 7:30pm

Finals Awards at 10:20pm


Judge Information

Greg Orwoll – Visual Effect

Orwoll is the Executive Director of DuRide in Dubuque, a non-profit that provides rides for Members 65 and over who no longer drive. Prior to this appointment, Orwoll was Development Director and Director Emeritus of the Colt 2012-2013, and prior was the Colts Executive Director from 1984 through the fall of 2012.


The Colts Youth Organization includes the World-Class Colts, the Open-Class Colt Cadets, the Colts Summer Band, and PanRhythmiX and Pandemonium, two steel drum ensembles and Vocal Fusion, all based at Prescott Elementary School. Over 340 young people, grade 3 through age 21, are members of a Colts program. He served on the Drum Corps International (DCI) Board of Directors for 22 years, and the DCI finance committee for 14 years, including 2 as chair. He served 14 years as chair of Drum Corps Midwest, and 3 years as chair of the DCI Central Division.


He has won numerous honors such as: Drum Corps International Hall of Fame in 2008, Drum Corps Midwest Director of the Year 1993 and 2003, DCI Central Division Director of the Year 2007. He has presented numerous clinics for the Iowa Bandmasters’ Association and has twice been a grant panelist for the Iowa Arts Council and serves on the Executive Board for the Iowa Alliance of Arts Educators (IAAE).


Highlights of Orwell’s judging career include the Michigan State Championships; USSBA in Giants Stadium; Arizona State University Sun Devil Invitational; University of Kansas Championships, University of Missouri Invitational, Indiana District Championships, Kentucky State Music Educators Association State Competition, and Youth In Music Championships in Minneapolis at the Metro dome.


Phil Hughes – Visual Ensemble

Phil Hughes teaching career included the programs at Arlington High School Collierville High School Kirby High School and Overton High School, all in Tennessee. He recently retired after 34 years or teaching instrumental music m the Shelby County area.


He attended the University of Illinois and Florida State University where he received a bachelor's degree in music education and music performance. In addition, he attended the University of Memphis and received his Master of Music degree m Music theory and Performance. He actively participated m many of the university’s performing ensembles, including the Wind Ensemble and Orchestra.


Mr. Hughes actively performs throughout the mid-south area on euphonium and trombone. While teaching, Mr. Hughes worked in virtually all areas of the program including marching band concert band jazz band, percussion ensemble and winter guard.


Elaine Smith - Colorguard

Elaine Smith is a classical pianist that plays both oboe and clarinet. She also is a trained dancer, having studied ballet, jazz, and chorus line jazz. In college, she was a member of Mississippi State University’s Color Guard. She has served as color guard director, choreographer, and instructor for a Mississippi community college and multiple high schools as well as a design consultant for marching band shows. In addition to her direct work in pageantry arts, Ms. Smith has a background in numerous areas that influence her visual design and judging work. For years, she worked in the areas of interior design and home staging. She also has strong expertise in literary analysis and coaching and adjudication of competitive speech events and elocution. Her theater background encompasses all aspects of production, including acting, directing, staging, set construction, lighting, and costuming. Currently, Ms. Smith works for the Tennessee Department of Transportation.


Brent Burris – Music Effect

Brent Burris is currently in his twenty-second year of teaching in the state of Kentucky and has served as band director for numerous high schools. Prior to that, he served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Western Kentucky University. He holds Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Arts in Education degrees from Western Kentucky University, and a Rank I in Educational Leadership from Eastern Kentucky University.


Mr. Burris currently serves as staff coordinator for the Castle High School Band in Newburgh, IN (a 25-time ISSMA finalist), and as an education consultant for numerous bands in the region. Bands under his direction have made multiple appearances at the KMEA In-Service Conference, performed at the Dixie Classic Grand National Adjudicators Festival, and have been named a Dixie Classic Festival Honor Band. High School and Middle School Concert Bands under his direction have both been identified with KMEA’s Exemplary Performance Status. Marching bands under his direction have been named Bands of America Grand National Semi-finalists, KMEA Finalists, and have also earned numerous Distinguished and Grand Champion Awards.


Students under his direction have been named to the KMEA All-State Symphonic, Concert, and Jazz Bands, University of Kentucky Honors Wind Ensemble, Western Kentucky University Honors Band, Murray State University Quad State, and the Kentucky All-State Baptist Youth Orchestra.


Mr. Burris has served two terms on the KMEA Board of Directors, as well as President of the Third District Music Educators Association. He has also served on the KMEA Conference Planning Committee, as Band-Chair and Marching Band Committee Representative for District 3, and is a member of Phi Beta Mu and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He was named Outstanding Young Band Director by Phi Beta Mu for the state of Kentucky in 2003, has been twice included in Who’s Who among America’s Teachers, and has received citations from the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives. His article, The Grass Isn’t Always Greener, was published in the 2010 winter edition of the Bluegrass Music News, and he has also been a clinic presenter at the KMEA In-Service Conference.


Nate Gay – Music Ensemble

Nathan Gay is currently Director of Athletic Bands at Missouri Western State University. He is one of the new forces in euphonium performance and has won honors at the most prestigious solo and chamber competitions including the Ern Keller Memorial International Soloist Competition, Leonard Falcone International Solo Euphonium Competition, Music Teacher's National Association National Solo Brass Competition, North American Brass Band Association Solo Competition, U.S. Open Brass Band Championships Solo, and the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference Quartet Competition, to name a few.


Gay completed graduate work at the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance and undergraduate work at Missouri State University. He also performs with the Fountain City Brass Band, is an active soloist and clinician, and is in high demand as a studio instructor. Gay has also taught in the public school system and has a strong commitment to music education and young students. He often performs and works with public school programs.


Nathan Gay is a Buffet Group USA Artist performing on a Besson euphonium.



Chris DeBerry - Percussion

Chris DeBerry is very active with music education as a middle school band director and a youth musical director in Franklin, TN. His formal training in music education was completed at Middle Tennessee State University, where he performed with both vocal and instrumental ensembles.


His educational experience includes arranging, and working with high school and middle school percussion groups in the Mid‐TN area. Beyond working with middle and high school percussion groups, his experience expands to the college age through competing groups in WGI and DCI. His most recent activity is with DCI as percussion caption head with Music City Drum Corps.


Chris has judged percussion in several marching band competitions for the Tennessee area, USBands, and indoor percussion through nearby circuits.


Chris is proud to be an educational artist with Mapex/Majestic and Innovative Percussion.


Awards / Results

West Tennessee Marching Championships Results


What are Airgrams?

Do you want to send a message to your son, daughter, band parent, band director, friend, neighbor, cousin, grandchild? Send them an AIRGRAM!


Airgrams are a great way to show support to your loved one on the field. Airgrams are announced over the loudspeaker before and after your band performs.


What is the cost of an Airgram?

Airgrams are $3.00 each (cash only), and may be purchased at the Airgram Table located within the gates of the contest site.


Where can I obtain an Airgram form?

You have two choices:

  1. This web page. You may print the Airgram form below, fill out the appropriate information, and take the completed form to the Airgram Table upon your arrival at the contest. Simply provide the Airgram Table worker your completed form and $3.00 cash per airgram.
  2. The Airgram table. Airgram forms will be available at the Airgram Table during the contest, however, completing the forms before arriving at the contest may reduce the time you spend waiting at the Airgram Table.



Sample Airgram:


BAND: Sample High School Band
TO: Amy Smith
FROM: Mom and Dad

MESSAGE: Good luck Amy! Make us proud! Go Woodwinds!!!!


Parking & Campus Map

All Spectators should plan to park in the lots marked "S" on the map.


Class A bands should be able to park in the lot marked "A."


All other band classes (AA through AAAA) may park in lots marked "B," "C," or "E" as space permits.



Dining & Lodging


In addition to the in-stadium concessions, several restaurants are located within walking distance of Graham Stadium, including the following:

  • Domino's
  • La Canasta
  • Tuscano (Italian Cuisine)
  • Veranda (Italian Cuisine)
  • Wendy's


Other dining options within a short drive of the stadium include:

  • Brandy's (fine dining)
  • Cowboy Cafe
  • Dairy Queen
  • K-N
  • La Cabana
  • Long John Silver's
  • Los Portales
  • McDonald's
  • Opera House (fine dining)
  • Pizza Hut
  • Sonic
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell



The primary hotel/motel establishments in Martin include:

  • Hampton Inn
  • Days Inn
  • Econolodge


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Department of Music

108 Fine Arts

16 Mt. Pelia Rd.

Martin, TN 38238


(731) 881-7402


Dr. Julie Hill, Chair