Mr. Joel L. Denton served as Director of Bands at Ooltewah High School for thirty-seven years.
Under his direction, the Ooltewah Band achieved a national reputation for musical excellence.
For his work at Ooltewah and his leadership for bands in Tennessee and across the nation, Mr.
Denton received the Legion of Honor by the John Philip Sousa Foundation at the 2015 Midwest
Clinic. He served as Chair of the Fine Arts at Ooltewah from 1982 until his retirement in 2018
and was selected five times as the Ooltewah Teacher of the Year. The Tennessee Governor’s
School for the Arts thrice honored him for outstanding teaching.
His professional affiliations include NAfME, TNMEA, ETSBOA, Phi Beta Mu, NBA, ASBDA and TNBA. Mr. Denton
currently serves as the TN State Chair for the NBA, as a Past President of the Tennessee
Bandmasters Association and as a Past-President of the East Tennessee School Band and
Orchestra Association. He has served as the State Legislative Delegate and Advocacy Chair for
TNMEA and served on the Tennessee State Department of Education’s Fine Arts Student Growth
He is active as an adjudicator, clinician, and consultant for bands throughout the
nation. He has affiliation with Music for All/Bands of America, Drum Corps International, and
has presented at regional, state, and national conferences including NAfME, TNMEA, ETSBOA,
The Midwest Clinic, and several universities. Mr. Denton also works with band programs and
other organizations on developing leadership and teambuilding skills. Mr. Denton and Kerry, his
wife of thirty-six years, have two children, Alex, who is the Assistant Director of at Cleveland
High School, TN and Caroline, who is a Language Arts teacher in the Hamilton County Schools