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History of the Dreadnaught Band


The band began in 1924 as an 18 piece orchestra. The first uniforms were purchased in 1924 with money earned from Sunday concerts performed during the winter season. In 1945, the band performed at the U.S.O.'s, U.S. Army Camps and government defense plants. A seven piece "German" band was established during the fifties and Majorettes and new band uniforms were soon to follow. During the '50s, the band performed at various festivals including Gasparilla and the Orange Festival. In 1959, the LHS band began its tradition of superior ratings at district contests.


Excitement, vitality, and spirit were the words used to describe the Dreadnaught Band of the '60s. The Spirit of the old "Orange and Black" was reflected in the enduring perseverance of the band members themselves. During the marching season, this superlative group was found practicing its precise drill formations in the school parking lot many mornings before the school day began. Excellence of the band was evident by their invitations to march in the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Gasparilla Parade, and the Citrus Festival.


During the '70s, the band continued performing and receiving superior ratings. The band marched in the Cherry Blossom Festival, at Walt Disney World, and at a Miami Dolphins football game. During the late 1970's the band performed at the National Band Association Convention in Knoxville, Tennessee. 


The '80s began in new uniforms. The Pride of Kathleen Marching Competition and St. Petersburg's Tournament of Bands found the Dreadnaught Band marching away with 2nd and 3rd place respectively. In 1982, the Wind Ensemble was selected to perform at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. In 1983, the band won Grand Champion at the Tournament of Bands and, in 1984, the marching band was featured on the Miss Teen U.S.A. CBS nationally televised special. The mid '80s brought participation in many events including Tri-state Tropicana Field Competition, the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, FSU Tri-State Music Festival; and a second trip to the National Band Association Convention. The most highly anticipated event of the '86-'87 school year was a return appearance at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. 


In 1987, the Wind Ensemble earned the John Philip Sousa Foundation's Sudler Flag of Honor, which is awarded to high school bands for outstanding achievement in concert performances and also presents evidence of outstanding achievement in every area of musicianship. 1987 also saw a new uniform. The band received the Grand Champion award at the Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, Virginia in the spring of 1988. The Wind Ensemble performed for the American Bandmasters Association Convention and the American School Band Directors Association Convention in 1989. The marching band performed its half-time show at the 1989 Florida State University Band Day and participated in the Boardwalk and Baseball Marching Festival in 1988 and 1989.


In 1991, our Dreadnaught Band led the inaugural parade of Governor Lawton Chiles (an LHS alumnus) in Tallahassee. In the early 1990s, the Lakeland High School Symphony Band (formerly Wind Ensemble) had been invited to perform at the Midwest National Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago for an unprecedented third time. In 1994, the Symphony Band once again received the prestigious Sudler Flag of Honor. Receiving this award for the second time allowed the Symphony Band to once again make history, as it was the first high school band to ever receive the award twice. The Symphony Band was one of only two high school bands selected throughout the nation and Japan to receive this award in 1994.


Beginning in the late 80's and continuing through the present, the Dreadnaught Band has seen a record breaking number of students receive superior ratings at the District and State level of solo and ensemble festivals traveling to Jacksonville, Ft. Myers, Daytona Beach, and the Miami area. LHS band students remain active participants in the Festival of Winds hosted by the University of South Florida each year as well as Florida State University's Tri-State Festival; Selected students have also participated in the International Disney Honor Band in Orlando.


In the Spring of 2006, the Dreadnaught Band celebrated recognition once again as one of Florida's outstanding band programs by being awarded the Otto J. Kraushaar Award. This award was presented by the Florida Bandmasters' Association in recognition for receiving straight superiors year-long in district marching, district concert and state concert festivals.


Completing its 96th year in 2020, the Dreadnaught Marching Band is proud of our past, and are excited about our future, and continue to strive everyday to truly be "Nulli Secondus!"

Directors of the Lakeland High School Band

Alice Chisholm

1924 - 1930

Harry S. Mayhall

1931 - 1953

Eric Berg

1953 - 1959

Thomas Munafo

1959 - 1960

Robert Blanton

1961 - 1969

G. Paul Stewart

1969 - 1970

William C. Miller

1970 - 1980

John Carmichael

1980 - 1987

Andrew "Jack" Crew

1987 - 1994

Lynn Putnam

1994 - 1997

Michael Hackbarth

1997 - 2001

Ronald Lagg

2001 - 2002

Kristopher Atkinson


Richard Lundahl

2002 - 2004

Bruce Adams


Jimmy Parker


Ryan Kelly

2005 - 2007

Brad Wharton

2007 - 2015

Zach Murdock

2015 - 2019

Luke H. Hart 

2019 - Present

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