Middle school band champions praise band director

James Robertson (Source: WMC Action News 5)
James Robertson (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Commission honored a middle school band that is making the country take notice.

Snowden Grove Middle School band, known as the Mighty Sound of Midtown, brought home seven trophies from a national competition in Chicago.

James Robertson is the band director, and his students say they admire his dedication and patience.

"He shows that he cares about you. So if you can't understand something, J-rob will take time out of his day to make sure you understand it," drum major Emori Thurman said.

Robertson has been the band director at Snowden Middle School for 31 years.

This year, the Snowden marching band, concert band, jazz band, and drum line ensemble traveled to the Music in the Park Festival in Chicago. There, they took home seven first place trophies.

"We were the last band actually of the festival to play so competition was steep. There were 11 other bands against us," Robertson said.

Robertson said there was one moment during competition that he'll remember more than the awards.

It happened when a student left an instrument behind and band members huddled together to come up with a plan.

"While I'm running around trying to do everything. I turned around and noticed the band,  and they were praying. It touched my heart...it really did and we just knew it was going to be fine after that," Robertson said.

Students said their band is one big family under the guidance of Robertson, who is like a father and mentor.

"He's very talented, and he lets us know that he loves and cares about us. We're really thankful to have him as a band teacher," drum major Tierney Clark said.

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