TSSBDA Mission


The Tennessee Secondary Schools Band Directors Association began when directors in East Tennessee saw a need for festivals and clinics which could meet the needs of students in any school, but especially small schools or new, growing band programs.

Our membership includes directors from all areas of East Tennessee, including Chattanooga, Scott County, Morgan County, Morristown, Jefferson City, Dandridge, White Pine, Knoxville, Cocke County, Roane County, Maryville, Maynardville, Madisonville and others. The membership is continually growing.

Membership is open to any band director in Tennessee with a program which includes grades 6 through 12.

This site includes information about Junior and Senior Clinic and Concert Festival. Each of these events is open to all members of TSSBDA.

Why should I join TSSBDA?

TSSBDA was founded close to 40 years ago in the backroom of Rush's Music, as a group of band directors sat around brainstorming how to improve opportunities for their students, specifically in the realm of clinic and contest experiences.   It was felt it might be possible to offer clinic and festival experiences that were less restrictive than those in the state/area organizations, and thus nurture those programs and students who might struggle at first and allow them to grow musically.  TSSBDA was not conceived to supplant ETSBOA, but to provide a good clinic and concert festival experience for programs which needed it, and mentoring and support for directors who might be the only music specialist in their county. Many directors have felt that their experience with TSSBDA has allowed more of their students to participate with better results in ETSBOA events.

What events does TSSBDA offer?

We offer 3 events a year:  Junior clinic the 4th weekend in January, Senior Clinic the 4th weekend in February and Concert Festival the 4th weekend in April.  To participate in a clinic, directors must be a member of TSSBDA ($15 a year), and students pay a $20 fee.  Students must be able to play required scales and sight-read.  There is no prepared etude, and tryouts occur the morning of the clinic.  Every student whose name is submitted will be placed in one of two bands.  Concert festival has no list of required music, although directors are asked to choose quality literature.  One of our 3 judges is always a holdover from the previous year to add continuity to the judging.  The three judges are chosen one each from middle school, high school and university level, so that bands have a judge who is a current teacher, and not someone who has forgotten what it is like to teach in the ranks.  Additionally, we accept any instrumental ensemble for adjudication - percussion ensembles, brass or woodwind ensembles, jazz ensembles have all performed.  All we ask is that scores be provided of the music.  The fee for concert festival is a flat $100. 

How does TSSBDA support future band directors?

One thing that TSSBDA is very proud of is our support of future band directors.  To that end, we sponsor 2 scholarships every year, which are awarded at Sr. Clinic.  The Bob Rush Scholarship is awarded to seniors planning to major in music, the Tom Bailey Scholarship can be offered also to students who are currently in college. We award each student chosen $1000, paid in two $500 increments. We ask the students to submit college transcripts after their freshman and junior year of college so that our support goes to students who are having success and continuing in the instrumental music education major.  Many of our former scholarship recipients are now band directors in this area and organization.


  • Junior Clinic
  • Senior Clinic
  • Concert Festival
  • Commissioned Works
  • Bandmaster's Open (no longer hosted
© James Hix 2018