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Mitchell High School
Mitchell High School

Mitchell High School Band at Whitehaven Christmas Parade

#067 Mitchell High School Band @ Whitehaven Christmas Parade (by John Shaw)

The Mitchell High School Tiger Band marches in the Whitehaven Christmas Parade in Memphis on 11/17/12. Formerly Mitchell Road High School, the school was the first African-American high school in Shelby County to play football, and thus had one of the earliest marching bands in the county schools.

Oakhaven vs. Mitchell @ J.P. Freeman Stadium, Memphis, 2012

I went out to J. P. Freeman Stadium Thursday night to catch the Oakhaven-Mitchell game, and I was impressed by the musicianship of both bands, but especially Oakhaven, a band I had not heard before. Their repertoire includes both traditional marches and current hits, and they play cleanly and in tune. Memphis TN, 9/27/12

Melrose vs. Mitchell at Melrose Stadium in Orange Mound, Memphis 2012

Orange Mound was one of the first subdivisions in America to be developed by African-Americans, and is a proud and stable neighborhood in Memphis. Many residents love sports in general and their Melrose High School Golden Wildcats in particular, so Friday night games at Melrose Stadium are as big a deal as a college game, not only with a large crowd inside the stadium but also with a large tailgating group across Park Avenue at the community center. Melrose vs. Mitchell at Melrose Stadium, Orange Mound, Memphis, 9/7/12

Mitchell vs. Manassas @ BTW, Memphis, 2011

Last night was a great night for football, with the weather cool and pleasant, and I headed down to historic Booker T. Washington Stadium for the Mitchell vs. Manassas game. Unfortunately, there was no band battle, because only Manassas brought their band, but Manassas looks as if they may be on the way to rebuilding their band program. We also had to contend with annoying, dive-bombing insects of some sort that would drop out of the sky on us or at least near us. But I still had fun. 

Westwood vs. Mitchell at Whitehaven 2011

Memphis’ high-school football (and band) season got underway in earnest this weekend, with Saturday’s Whitehaven Classic offering a marathon three high-school games at Whitehaven Stadium. The first game, between Westwood and Mitchell, was delayed somewhat due to the heat, but as the day progressed and temperatures cooled, the crowds increased. Both Westwood and Mitchell have truly tiny bands this year compared to what I recall from the 1980’s and 1990’s. I suppose their enrollments are down as people have relocated to Hickory Hill, Cordova, Southaven and Olive Branch.