Joel L. Denton (Chattanooga, Tennessee) served as Director of Bands at Ooltewah High School for 37 years. Denton currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Instrumental Music Education and Conductor of the Wind Ensemble at Lee University. Prior to his retirement in 2018, he was recognized as a CMA Music Teacher of Excellence. At The 2015 Midwest Clinic, Denton was awarded the John Philip Sousa Foundation Legion of Honor for his contributions to band. Under his direction, the Ooltewah Band achieved a national reputation for musical excellence, including performances in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2013 and 2007, and as the only band in the 2011 Disney Christmas Parade on ABC. The Ooltewah Marching Band was a consistent finalist at Bands of America Regional Championships and was awarded multiple class championships and placements. The band was also a national semi-finalist on multiple occasions with several class placements. The Ooltewah Concert Bands performed at the Music for All Southeast Regional Concert Festival in 2016, the TMEA (Tennessee) State Music Conference in 2014 and 2010, the Smoky Mountain Music Festival in 2011 (Grand Concert Division Champions), and multiple other events through the years. Denton served as Chairman of Fine Arts at Ooltewah from 1982 until his retirement and was selected as the Ooltewah Teacher of the Year five times. Denton serves as the Tennessee State Chair for the National Band Association and is the President-Elect for the Tennessee Music Education Association. He is active as an adjudicator, clinician, and consultant working with Music for All/Bands of America, Drum Corps International, several universities and state organizations, and many high school bands across the nation. Through his corporation Leading the Way, Inc., Denton presents professional development sessions and also works with band programs and other organizations on developing leadership and teambuilding skills.