Monday, February 1, 2010

THINK BIG: Professor Edward Graves

Black History Month at Tennessee State University

*Tennessee State University celebrates Black History Month by recognizing individuals or organizations that have made noteworthy contributions to the University’s history, and are taking the “Think Big, TSU BIG!” approach to their areas of study and expertise while impacting the campus community and beyond.

Serving as Tennessee State University’s director of bands for 30 years has been no easy task for Professor Edward L. Graves.  Before the TSU Aristocrat of Bands would become the powerhouse that it is today, Graves envisioned the creation of a band that would become the marvel of half-time spectators and the envy of HBCU bands.

The realization of Graves’ vision began in 1979 when the TSU graduate restructured the University’s band program and eventually defined the TSU sound. Affectionately known as "Prof." Graves, he has led the program to national and international acclaim for outstanding musical performance, quality musicianship, innovative arrangements and precision marching.

Graves has steered the Aristocrat of Bands to the forefront of a nationwide evolution of HBCU marching bands by mixing some of today’s popular tunes and moves with timeless classics and old-school grooves – all while maintaining the band’s polished sound.

“Directing a legendary group and making history with the TSU Aristocrat of Bands has brought me much joy over the past 30 years. I believe my greatest joy has been fulfilled in being a teacher and mentor to hundreds of TSU students and graduates,” said Graves.

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