February 2, 2018 | Casey Knox
Fred Lemmons, former Band Director for Boyd Buchanan High School in the 80s, will be a special guest clarinetist at this year’s Big Band Fever, presented by Luken Holdings Pop Series and sponsored by Volkswagen Chattanooga. Big Band Fever is February 16 and 17, 7:30pm at the Tivoli Theatre, also know as Chattanooga’s favorite Valentine’s event. Music from the swing era performed by Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra’s big band as they are also joined by guest clarinetist, Lemmons.
Sgt. Lemmons was a clarinet student of Mr. Craven’s beginning in junior high, through his years at Brainerd High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The student earned his master’s degree in musical performance from Louisiana State University.
He joined the U.S. Marine Band in 1988 as a clarinetist and was appointed to the band’s operations staff in 1998. He served as operations chief for three years.
“The President’s Own,” as the band is known, is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization, according to its website. Membership is highly competitive with only the nation’s best musicians accepted. Its members encompass the United States Marine Band, Marine Chamber Orchestra and Marine Chamber Ensembles, and perform regularly at the White House.
Sgt. Lemmons was responsible for daily scheduling and logistics. In his 21 years on the operations staff, he oversaw logistics for the funeral of former president Ronald Reagan, the inaugurations of former presidents George Bush and Barack Obama, and all performances required for the Commander-in-Chief from inaugural balls to state dinners. His responsibilities included every detail of band performances from supplying the Secret Service, with information for musicians credentials to scheduling buses for transportation.
Congratulations to Mr. Lemmons on all of his career successes!