Dobyns-Bennett High School Invited to 2020 Rose Parade

Dobyns Bennett High School

In 2020, the Dobyns-Bennett High School band from Kingsport, Tennessee, will make its fourth appearance in the Rose Parade. The group had received a surprise invitation during the Bands of America (BOA) Grand National Championships awards ceremony in November 2018. Dobyns-Bennett had finished 10th overall at BOA.

“[We’re] especially proud of our students because of the way they received the invitation,” says Lafe Cook, director of bands at Dobyns-Bennett High School. “The kids earned this invitation based on a single performance [at the Grand National Finals], and I think that’s especially meaningful.”

Each year since 2010, members of the Tournament of Roses leadership team have attended Grand Nationals to watch bands compete, and one group is selected to participate in a future Rose Parade. Normally, bands undergo a rigorous application process. Because of the band’s previous appearances, the Rose Parade is “an iconic experience for a kid in Kingsport, Tennessee, because they’ve been hearing about it for many, many years,” Cook says. “So I think that [creates] an additional level of excitement for our kids.”

Photo courtesy of Todd Brase. All rights reserved.

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Jamie Lee Cortese

Jamie Lee Cortese graduated from Northwestern University with a double major in Radio/TV/Film and political science. Jamie also writes scripts and is an actor, singer, and director who hosts a weekly radio show, Jammin’ with Jamie. Visit her website and read her blog at

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