Apalachee High School Marching Band
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Southwest DeKalb High School

Decatur, GA

Ranking high among the many proud traditions of Southwest Dekalb High School is the highly acclaimed Marching Panther Band. The marching band is recognized for its excellence in musicianship, precision in marching, and innovative, high-energy performances. The key to the success of “The Best Band in the Land” is its commitment to artistic excellence, discipline and hard work. The SWD Band has performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, the Carnival of Flowers in Nice, France, performed for two United States President, and for the Opening Ceremony of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. In the fall of 2002, the SWD Band was featured as an exhibition band at the Bands of America Grand National Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana. Along with many local parades and events, the SWD Bands has also performed for numerous Atlanta Falcons Halftime Shows, as well for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies and the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream Basketball Team.

Recently the SWD Band was prominently featured in the 20th Century Fox movie “Drumline”. The movie featured the band students as members of the fictional hero college band (Atlanta A&T University) in both music and field drill situations. The Southwest Dekalb Marching Panther Band was selected and performed in the 2006 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. The Marching Panthers have again been selected and will return to march in the upcoming 2011 Rose Parade. In fall of 2006,the SWD Band was a featured performing group during the world premier of hip hop artist Andre 3000’s (OutKast) new cartoon “Class of 3000”, which was held at the FOX Theatre in Atlanta. The world premier and the cartoon were produced and aired on the Cartoon Network. In 2007, the SWD Marching Band was featured in an eight episode reality television show  titled “DRUMROLL: SWD.” Produced by music mogul Dallas Austin, the series captured the day to day routine and events of the marching band program. “DRUMROLL: SWD” appeared on the Peachtree TV network, a division of Turner Broadcasting. Most recently, the band was featured in an episode of BET TV show “The Quad.” Music education and bands are a vital part of the total school and community culture at SWD.