Lebanon middle school band teacher to retire after 46 years - WSMV Channel 4

Lebanon middle school band teacher to retire after 46 years

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Ron Davenport has been a band teacher for 46 years. (WSMV) Ron Davenport has been a band teacher for 46 years. (WSMV)
LEBANON, TN (WSMV) -

The sound of tuba and trombone echoes in the ears of a Lebanon middle school band teacher. It’s been that way for 46 years, but it’s about to change.

Ron Davenport picked up the baton at Walter J. Baird Middle School in Wilson County in 1976. He will retire at the end of the school year.

The beginning of band practice is never pretty, but judging by the trophies, that sound will soon change.

“That’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed in band all these years. I enjoy teaching students that enjoy to learn,” Davenport said.

“Sixth graders, they’re like sponges. They soak up everything you tell them,” he added. “When you learn to play an instrument, you open up a new world of ideas, feelings and emotions.”

Davenport has experienced that emotion from middle schoolers since 1976.

“In some ways, they haven’t changed at all,” he said. “In order to teach middle school, you have to remember what you were like.”

Principal Pam Simpson remembers life at age 12. She was one of Davenport’s students back then.

“It was different because I was used to him being in charge of me, and now I’m in charge of him,” Simpson laughed. “Kind of full circle.”

Davenport said full circle happens every year for a band leader.

“Teachers have asked me, they’ve heard the beginners play their first note, ‘How do you stand it?’ I said, ‘If they didn’t get better, I wouldn’t be able to,’” he said.

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