Home > Regional Outreach > Blues in the Schools (BITS)

Blues in the Schools (BITS)



Our BITS prIMG_1251ogram has turned 20 years old!  It is the flagship outreach of the SMBS.  Our main program is a history of the Blues, from its roots in the slave trade and the Mississippi Delta, through its migration to various regions in the U.S.  We match local musicians with area schools and other youth-oriented organizations to combine a history of the Blues with a live music performance.  It is a uniquely American art form that we feel is worthwhile to share with our youth.

Since our program’s launch at Fulton High School  in 1997 with BARRY FAUST and STEVE MICHAEL performing to a packed house, BITS has reached thousands of kids!FullSizeRender (1)

In 2016 alone, we have reached over 1,200 children.  In March, a four piece band visited Halls Middle School where approximately 1,000 students and teachers attended the performance.  Please see the article here.  In June, the Smoky Mountain Blues Society was named Volunteer of the Month by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tennessee Valley because of their newly formed relationship with the Clubs.  The program is free to the schools and organizations, subsidized fully by the SMBS.


Below is a letter of commendation from a satisfied area teacher:

Dear Don and the Smoky Mountain Blues Members,

I hope this afternoon is finding you well. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

This afternoon Barry and Rich provided an amazing experience for our young people here at Halls-Powell.  The program was very interactive and allowed our members to be exposed to blues music.  Many questions were asked and answered and plenty of dancing was had. Overall, I would say a good time was had by all!

I passed along to Rich and Barry that I would love to host BITS again sometime soon, possibly this summer if schedules align.

Thank you again for providing this experience to our members!


Hannah Harned

Assistant Executive Facility Director-Halls/Powell

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley



If your school or organization is interested in having a BITS program, please contact Don Linde by email.  Please give as many details as possible, such as the number of children you expect to attend and their ages.  Also, if you wish to support our ongoing efforts to keep the Blues alive for our youth, please visit the Donations section of our website.  We thank you for your support.

2 thoughts on “Blues in the Schools (BITS)

  1. Looking for information for the Blues in the Schools program opportunities for Christenberry Elementary School, specifically approximately 90 students in the 5th Grade.

    1. Hi Heidi,
      Thanks for your interest in the Blues in the Schools program! Sorry it has taken a while for me to get back to you.
      You can call Barry Faust at 865-228-3195.
      The BITS team really enjoyed the other shows that they performed at Christenberry.
      Debbie Faust

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *