Mr. Joel L. Denton has served as Director of Bands at Ooltewah High School for the past thirty-five years. Mr. Denton is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and has completed graduate studies at the UT-Chattanooga. Under his direction, the Ooltewah Band has achieved a national reputation for musical excellence. Bands under his directions have performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2013 and 2007, as the only band in the 2011 Disney Christmas Parade on ABC, and will be performing in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade. The Ooltewah band has been a consistent finalist at Bands of America Regional Championships being awarded multiple class championships and placements, and has been a national semi-finalist on multiple occasions with several class placements. The Ooltewah concert bands have most recently performed at the TMEA (TN) State Conference in 2010 and 2014, the Smoky Mountain Music Festival in 2011, the Music for All Regional Concert Festival in 2016 and multiple other state, regional and national events through the years. At the 2015 Midwest Clinic, Mr. Denton was awarded the John Phillip Sousa Foundation Legion of Honor.
He has served as Chairman of Fine Arts at Ooltewah since 1982 and has been selected five times as the Ooltewah Teacher of the Year. The Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts has twice honored him. His professional affiliations include NAfME, TMEA, ETSBOA, Phi Beta Mu, NBA, ASBDA and TBA (Tennessee). Mr. Denton currently serves as Past President of the TBA. He also serves as the State Legislative Delegate and Advocacy Chair for TMEA and is a member of the Tennessee Department of Education’s Fine Arts Student Growth Committee. He is active as an adjudicator, clinician, and consultant working with Music for All/Bands of America, Drum Corps International, several universities and state organizations, as well as, many high school bands across the nation. Mr. Denton and Kerry, his wife of thirty-two years, have two adult children, Alex and Caroline.