There were a lot of things standing out during Saturday’s Christmas Parade in Seymour, but for Seymour High School Director of Bands Rhett Butler, what stood out the most was the cold.
“This was absolutely the coldest parade I’ve done,” Butler said of the event, the 10th such parade he’s directed since beginning his work leading musicians at Seymour High School. With more than 130 students from the high school marching band participating in this year’s event, Butler said their performance in the cold was good, especially when considering an early dismissal for Sevier County Schools this past Friday prevented the group from ever practicing together.
“They don’t need a lot of instruction. If you can get them do it once, usually they can figure the rest of it out,” Butler said.
Arriving at the Valley Grove Baptist Church mid-afternoon Saturday, the Seymour High School marching band was just one of many groups to make their way down Chapman Highway that evening, including: Bible Baptist Church, Premiere Dance Studio, the Premiere Handyman, Seymour United Methodist Church, Creekside Golf, Boyscout pack 255, Girl Scout troop 20047, Dripping Springs Baptist Church, The King’s Academy, Seymour Community Christian School and many more.
“Marching band is the most visible aspect of what we do … The problem is, we do so much more than anybody knows about,” Rhett said. He notes that while most people associate school music with parades and football rallies, the student’s true talent and musicality is most tested outside of marching band. Rhett points to the many musical groups and awards the students of Seymour High School comprise, including: two concert bands, two winter guards and a jazz band, as well as recognition from The East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association.
“The parade is more or less a way for us to perform for the community and show on a little basis what the kids can actually do,” Rhett said. “The workload actually goes up when marching band is over, that’s when the actual teaching in the classroom begins.”

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