Donald Benton was the recipient of the Department Alumnus of the Year Award for the Lee University School of Music. Benton was presented this award at Lee’s recent homecoming festivities.
“As we looked for an alumnus of the year, our goal was to find someone who was making a difference in people’s lives through the gift of music, someone who was changing people with their gift rather than just teaching them to perform,” said Dr. William Green, dean of the School of Music. “We found this in an amazing local band director, Donald Benton, who is molding students into outstanding adults. We are so proud of his work.”
For the past 10 years, Benton has served as band director at Walker Valley High School in Cleveland, Tennessee. He works with the marching band, wind ensemble, symphonic band, and the freshman concert band, among others. This past January, the 270-member marching band performed in the 2019 London New Year’s Day parade in London, England. The Mustang Marching Band has been awarded grand champions at marching band contests across Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. The wind ensemble has performed at the 2017 TMEA State Concert Festival.
Benton is currently serving his fifth year on the East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association board of directors where he was recently voted as president-elect. He has also served as the rooming coordinator for All East Senior Clinic in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
He earned a bachelor in music education at Lee in 2005 and earned his master in educational leadership with a principal’s license in 2009. He was awarded Teacher of the Year at Walker Valley High School in 2014.
Benton is married to Sarah, and they have a son, Liam, and a daughter, Ava.
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