When David Stevens was a member of the Munford High band in the mid-2000s, he talked to Barry Trobaugh about his goal of one day becoming Munford’s band director.
“He tried to talk me out of it,” Stevens said with a laugh. “I think it was kind of a test.”
Apparently he passed it with flying colors.
Munford principal Dr. Courtney Fee announced last Friday that Stevens, a 2006 Munford High graduate, will succeed Trobaugh, who has served in that role in 27 years, when Trobaugh retires at the end of the school year.
“As soon as Mr. Trobaugh made his decision final with me, I was keenly aware of the magnitude of what lay ahead,” Fee said. “Finding someone to fill his shoes would be no easy task. We also knew, however, that monumental task must be completed—we had to identify a successor … His experience as a director, his accomplishments at Adamsville (High School) and his commitment to excellence made him a strong choice. His passion for music and for Munford High was evident throughout the entire selection process.”
Stevens graduated from the University of Memphis where he played for the Mighty Sound of the South, wind ensemble and the Southern Comfort Jazz Band. Following graduation, he served as assistant director of bands at Adamsville High. After four years in that position, Stevens took over the program as director, where he has served since 2014. During his tenure the Adamsville band claimed seven state championships in Division I and II and saw significant growth in band enrollment.
As a former band member who also worked part time with Trobaugh during college, Stevens, 33, is keenly aware that he is following a legend.
“I’m excited and it’s going to be fun, but the task is daunting,” Stevens said. “I replaced a long-time director at Adamsville so I have an idea of what that’s like.”
During Trobaugh’s tenure the Munford band won a U.S. Bands National Championship (2011) and performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (2015) in New York City and the Tournament of Roses Parade (2019) in Pasadena. There were also four state titles, three Southern State titles and 20 grand championships at Bandmasters, Tennessee’s largest marching competition.
“The way I look at is the only way to go us up,” Stevens said. “I’m going to take the parts of the program that are fantastic, keep those going and build on them … If there’s one thing that I want people to know about my philosophy it’s that it’s all about the kids.”