TENNESSEE VALLEY ENSEMBLE
Our new Musical Director
As of January, 2018 Barry
Robertson assumed the responsibilities of
Musical Director of the Tennessee Valley Ensemble as
Sandy Wells, Musical Director for the past 15 years,
is taking a leave of absence. Barry holds a B.S. in
Music Education from the University of Tennessee and
has studied choral and instrumental conducting, jazz
bass and trombone with a variety of renowned
experts. He is the recipient of an Edward H.
Hamilton Choral Conducting Scholarship and is past
director of the Central Baptist Church - Bearden
Wind Ensemble as well as a charter member of the
Knoxville Handel Society. He has participated as a
member of many musical groups, including the Oak
Ridge Community Band. And if that isn’t enough, he’s
also a registered piano technician with the Piano
Technicians Guild! TVE is excited to welcome Barry
as our new director and look forward to his
direction. For more information about the Tennessee
Valley Ensemble, please visit www.tnvalleyensemble.org or
contact band secretary Melissa McCoy at email@example.com.
Our mission statement
The purpose of the Tennessee Valley
Ensemble (“TVE”) is dually focused on community service and
a relaxed community band culture.
It is important that
the band perform concerts to benefit the people of Knoxville
and its surrounding communities by playing venues where the
public can attend (parks, theaters, festivals, etc.) and
where people are in need (veterans’ hospitals, nursing
homes, etc.). Since our beginning, the band has made one of
our priorities providing music to those who have difficulty
in reaching public venues. We accept donations for our
concerts; however, we do not ask for nor require payment.
Equally as important
is the band “culture”. TVE maintains a welcoming, friendly
atmosphere where musicians of all levels can play without
the stress of politics, organizational/leadership problems
or fear of retribution. Skilled players should feel
satisfied, and we look to them for advice and mentoring.
Less skilled players should feel comfortable to play out and
improve their skills. Area musicians should be interested in
joining. This can only be accomplished in a cohesive group
free of major disagreements with firm yet supportive
leadership. This relaxed band culture ultimately translates
to a better community band for the public.
This is not a paid
professional organization, yet it should provide good
quality, appealing music. In short, it should be enjoyable
and satisfying for all involved, whether performing or
We play concert band
music that ranges from light classical to light pop. If you would like to get more information about
booking a concert, click on the Contact tab above. If you are
interested in playing with us, check out the Rehearsal and Contact tabs
History of the band
The band was originally established in the
fall of 1994 as the Pellissippi State Technical Community
College Band under the dual direction of Chris Jenkins and
Anne-Marie Begley. The band grew quickly and began playing free
concerts for nursing homes, assisted living centers, senior
centers, church socials, store openings, Pellissippi events and
other special events. Shortly after Chris Jenkins left the band
after a few years, Anne-Marie took over as sole musical director
and we changed our name to the Farragut Pops Ensemble.
Anne-Marie was followed as director for two years by one of our
flutists, McCall Bohanan. Under Anne-Marie and McCall, the town
of Farragut sponsored our efforts, so that we also performed at
various Town of Farragut events such as the RiverFest Concerts,
Farragut Days, and A Taste of Farragut, as well as
Kroger-sponsored events in stores and miscellaneous area
In 2006, the Town of
Farragut cut their budget and discontinued our band sponsorship.
Nevertheless, this did not deter us from continuing our musical
passion and mission. We decided to change our name yet again,
and settled on “Tennessee Valley Ensemble” to reflect our size,
musical style and the larger area community we serve. Since
then, we have played under the direction of Sandy Wells who was
persuaded to lay aside her French horn in order to conduct us.
And in 2008, we
thought we had better have a website!
We continue to provide
free performances to those isolated populations who cannot reach
musical events as well as create other public performance
venues. For example, during the summer of 2010, trumpet Cynthia
Crosby-Myers came up with a performance idea we called “Practice
in the Park” where we moved many of our summer rehearsals to the
gazebo at West Hills Park and delivered a rehearsal/performance
session for the passersby during our evening rehearsal times.