ST. PARIS – The 50th Annual Graham Band Festival will be held Saturday evening at Graham High School’s football field.
Marching bands from around the area will perform. The parade of bands begins at 6:30 p.m. and the lineup of on-field performances begin at 7 p.m.
Admission is $7 per person.
In addition to the host band, other attending bands will be Jackson Center, Southeastern, Miami East, Shawnee, Northridge, Urbana, Mechanicsburg, Little Miami, Kenton Ridge, Springfield and Wayne.
Past directors and the current director of the Dancin’ Band from Falconland will be recognized during the milestone festival.
The directors are listed below with information about them as provided by band festival organizers:
Mr. Robert D. Dubois
From 1970 to 1987 Graham Local Schools were honored with the dedication of Mr. Dubois to the instrumental music program. After adopting the Ohio University Marching Band style in 1973, he made the Graham Band a crowd favorite wherever they performed and a great source of pride for the Graham community.
Mr. Matthew S. Cool
Mr. Cool came to Graham just a year after having performed at the 14th Annual Graham Band Festival as a member and Field Commander of the Ohio University Marching 110. Mr. Cool brought his fresh new ideas and worked to maintain the traditions of the Graham Band. Under Mr. Cool, it was the first time the Graham Band traveled and performed out of state on a trip to Florida. In 1990, Mr. Cool left to pursue a Masters degree in conducting from Louisiana State University. For the past 30 years, Mr. Cool has served as Director of Bands at Williamsville South Schools in Williamsville, New York.
Mr. Jeffrey S. Buell
Mr. Buell was a proud member of the Ohio University Marching 110 and served as a Graduate Assistant to the Marching 110 while pursuing his Masters in Music Education. Mr. Buell felt Graham was just the place to pursue his passion for the Ohio University marching style, so he came to Graham in the summer of 1990. Mr. Buell worked tirelessly to build upon and maintain the traditions of the Dancin’ Band from Falconland, and was always looking for the best places to showcase the band and make the Graham community proud. Mr. Buell’s passion and dedication to the band and Graham Local Schools is apparent in that he is the longest serving director of the Graham instrumental music department. Mr. Buell was the director from 1990 to 2013 and again the season of 2018/2019.
Mr. Justin Cooper
Mr. Cooper is a graduate of Ohio University and was also a member of the Marching 110. Mr. Cooper continued to work and maintain the traditions of the Dancin Band from Falconland from 2013 to 2018. Mr. Cooper is currently the director of the bands at Colonel Crawford High School in Crestline, Ohio.
Mr. Paul Bissler
Mr. Bissler is a 2019 graduate of Ohio University and served as a member and the Field Commander of the Marching 110. Mr. Bissler also continued to work and maintain the traditions of the Graham Band. Mr. Bissler served as the director of the Dancin’ Band from 2019 to 2021. Mr. Bissler is currently serving as director of bands at Miami Trace Schools in Washington Court House.
Mr. Patrick Woods
Mr. Woods is in his second year as director of the Dancin’ Band from Falconland. Mr. Woods is a graduate of Wright State University and holds his masters from the University of Alabama. In the spring of 2022 he took the Marching Band to Nashville, Tennessee where they recorded the band’s standard songs at the historic RCA Studio B and performed at the Grand Ole Opry.