Tennessee State University’s marching band, Aristocrat of Bands, has been nominated for two Grammy Awards. This year, the HBCU marching band relased The Urban Hymnal— its debut album featuring ten high-energy tracks that include the talents of Sir the Baptist, Jekalyn Carr, Mali Music, Fred Hammond and John P. Kee.
“This is a tremendous day in the history of our beloved Tennessee State University. This is not just a band accolade, but a university-wide accomplishment,” shared Dr. Reginald McDonald, director of Aristocrat of Bands. “I personally appreciate our President Dr. Glenda Glover’s vision for our university.” McDonald served as executive producer of the album along with Professor Larry Jenkins, Sir the Baptist, Dallas Austin and platinum recording artist Dubba-AA.
Aristocrat of Bands is the first collegiate band to ever be nominated for a Grammy award. The marching band was nominated in the Best Roots Gospel Album category. Its second nomination— Best Spoken Word Poetry Album—comes from a collaboration with spoken word artist and EBONY 2022 Power 100 Artist in Residence awardee J. Ivy.
The Tennessee State University Band has achieved a substantial roster of national performances, including presidential inaugural parades and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. The band is also recognized as the first HBCU marching band to appear on national television in 1955, during halftime of the Rams versus Bears NFL game.