Current Band Director, Daniel B. White, began teaching at Parkersburg High School in 2006, but this was not his first go-round at PHS. Mr. White graduated from PHS in 1989, making him the first alumni band director in the school's history. He studied music education and received his undergraduate degree from Glenville State College, and received graduate credit hours from both WVU and Marshall University.
Currently, Mr. Statler is the percussion teacher for Dawson Bryant middle and high school in Coal Grove, Ohio and Parkersburg High School from Parkersburg, WV. Mr. Statler was the percussion instructor for Greenbrier East High School in West Virginia. Mr. Statler graduated from Glenville State College in 2009 with a B.A, in music performance and received his M.M. from Marshall University in 2013.
Our mission is to embrace the pursuit of excellence both inside and outside the classroom. We encourage students to take private lessons and participate in Solo & Ensemble, All State and other performing areas outside of the school day.
The Big Red Band was first a concert band only organized in 1919 and was under the direction of C. O. Chapman. The first Big Red Band as a marching band was organized under George Dietz in 1924. It was all-male and women were not allowed into the band itself until 1970. The Big Red Band is the only military-style marching band in the state of West Virginia and prides themselves on being a music making organization first.
The original uniforms for the band were all white with red trim and buttoned down the middle. They featured red capes and red navy-style dress uniform hats (similar to the ones worn by the Navy ROTC at PHS). The current uniforms have been essentially the same since at least 1955, with the only noticeable change being the crossbelts. Originally they were just one sash crossing over the body; the current ones have two sashes (which in 1955 were worn by the field commanders) that criss-cross the band member with the right one over the left one. The current uniforms also are made of wool and are red tops with white bottoms. The uniform top has two sets of silver buttons, one for each side, and the uniform pants have a red stripe down each outward facing side.
The field commander's uniform has seen its share of changes also. Originally, there were multiple field commanders/drum majors. One wore an all red uniform with the same styled white hat, and the others wore the white uniforms that eventually became the current field commander's uniform. The current field commander uniform was all white with a tall white hat with the 1955 set, this was changed slightly to include a red breastpiece and yellow shoulderpieces. The crossbelts worn by them in 1955 became the current crossbelts for the band. The field commander uniform lacks a crossbelt.
The Big Red Band has its own fair share of recognition, performing at the World's Fair in 1982. They were also in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in November 1992. They also performed in the Kentucky Derby Pegasus Parade in 1995, and are regularly invited to participate in New Year's Day "bowl festivities."
Also, the Big Red Band won two Veterans of Foreign Wars junior band championships, one in Boston (1955) and one in Dallas (1956) and are one of only a few groups at PHS to be able to call themselves national champions. The band also won the Lion's Club International Band Contest four times: in Providence (year unknown), Chicago (1937), Pittsburgh (1939), and New Orleans (1941). They performed for the National Moose Convention in 1948. In addition, they were selected as the best band in the state in 1930 and won the tri-state band concert in 1933. The band received the Ohio State Governor's Cup in the fall of 1991.
The concert and jazz band also traveled to New Orleans for the Heritage Festival national competition in the 2004-2005 school year, the jazz band ended up taking 2nd place nationally and the concert band 1st place.
The band has performed for Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush during their visits to Parkersburg as Presidents of the United States. They also played for Queen Marie of Romania during an incidental visit to Parkersburg (this was due to a snow squall hitting the area, forcing the Queen's train to stop) in 1926.
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