HBCU Tennessee State University Earns Two Grammy Nominations
Black institutions have always been symbols of national greatness. Good to see the rest of the world catching up to us.
Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands received some great news this week, adding to the school’s legacy.
On Tuesday, the Recording Academy announced the nominations for the 65th Grammy Awards and Tennessee State University appeared on the list two times.
According to AP news, the first nomination is for the marching band’s album The Urban Hymnal in the Best Roots Gospel Album category. The Urban Hymnal is a lively 10-song gospel album featuring gospel music powerhouses such as Jekalyn Carr, Fred Hammond and Kierra Sheard.
The Aristocrat of Bands received a second Grammy nomination for their collaboration on a spoken word single with artist J Ivy.
Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands is the first collegiate band in history to earn a Grammy nomination. Dr. Reginald McDonald, director of bands, said the nominations are a huge accomplishment for the university.
“This is a tremendous day in the history of our beloved Tennessee State University,” Dr. McDonald said to AP news. “This is not just a band accolade, but a university-wide accomplishment. I personally appreciate our President, Dr. Glenda Glover’s vision for our University.”
Tammy Kernodle, a distinguished professor of music at Miami University spoke to AP on the importance of Black and HBCU bands. “
You went to the game not so much to see the football team as to see the band,” and the halftime show was “the moment where everything stopped,” Kernodle, who attended Virginia State University.
She added that HBCU marching bands are “the epicenter of student life, especially during football season.” “You went to the game not so much to see the football team as to see the band,” and the halftime show was “the moment where everything stopped.”
Even when there weren’t games, the drumline or horn sections practicing in the evenings formed the soundscape of university life, Kernodle said.
TSU student, Logyn Rylander, who said she almost cried when she first heard the album. She loves the way it blends old and new while staying true to the spirit and culture of TSU, where she is a music business major and saxophonist in the Aristocrat of Bands.
“Staying original, staying true to yourself: If I’m being fully honest, that’s what being an Aristocrat is about,” Rylander said.
“We don’t ever switch up what we’re doing because we see another school doing it. We always stay true to who we are. And that’s something the album has allowed us to represent on a global scale.”
“Even if we don’t win that Grammy, we know people saw what we can do,” she said. “I look forward to seeing what opportunities come knocking at our door. … Grammy or not, we’re still going to be the Aristocrats at the end of the day.”
The Grammys will take place on February 5, 2023, at Cypto.com arena in Los Angeles.