TSU Aristocrat of Bands still awestruck over historic double Grammy wins

TSU marching band
Posted at 6:11 PM, Feb 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-06 21:04:22-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — From college students to Grammy award winners: Tennessee State University's marching band members still can't believe they can include such a credential on their resumes.

The band made history when they took home two awards at the 65th Grammy Awards Sunday night.

Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands is all about making history.

TSU was the first HBCU to appear on national television during the 1955 Rams vs. Bears NFL game halftime show. It was also the first HBCU to perform at the Presidential Inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961.

Now, it is also the first collegiate band to be nominated and to win the highest award in the music industry.

TSU won for Best Roots Gospel Album for The Urban Hymnal, and for their collaboration on the best-spoken word album: The Poet Who Sat by The Door, with spoken word artist and poet J. Ivy.

The album also features TSU’s New Direction Gospel Choir, along with acclaimed gospel artists Jekalyn Carr, Fred Hammond, Kierra Sheard, J. Ivy, John P. Kee, Louis York, and more. New Direction Gospel Choir’s powerful vocals are heard on “Dance Revival,” a track that lifts the spirit and soothes the soul.

Walking the Grammy red carpet on Sunday and accepting the award on behalf of TSU and the band were the album’s co-executive producers, Assistant Band Director Larry Jenkins, TSU alumni, two-time Grammy award-nominated songwriter and artist Sir the Baptist, and TSU alum platinum recording artist Aaron "DUBBA-AA" Lockhart.

TSU students gathered for a watch party on Sunday to take part in Black history as the band took home two Grammy Awards.

"I want to thank all the people that played because we had a lot of practices, and I know some of us were tired, but we did it," said Jubril Lee.

Lee and Matteo Smith are both trumpet players and two members in the AOB. They say they're proud of their "Alma Mater," and they're glad people can see God's "Purpose" through their music as they "Fly" their way into history.

"I didn't think it was going to be this big as, you know — I'm saying [the] impact on the world and... society and — Black society, like, Black history — and I didn’t know it was going to be this much of an impact," Smith said.

Students said they can't wait to see what award they aim for next year.

You can listen to The Urban Hymnal album on all music streaming platforms such as Apple Music, YouTube, and Spotify.

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