Regional Outreach

Blues in the Schools (BITS)

bitsOur BITS prIMG_1251ogram is over 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)

Recent BITS Programs:
February 6 – Dogwood Elementary
February 14 – Gibbs Middle School
February 21 – Inskip Elementary
February 22 – Spring Hill Elementary
February 26 – Ridgeway Alternative
March 8 – New Hopewell Elementary
March 15 – Dogwood Elementary

May 23 – New Hopewell Elementary
June 13 – New Hopewell Elementary
June 19 – New Hopewell Elementary
September 13 – Whittle Springs Elementary
September 24, October 15, 16, 23 and 30 – Christenberry Elementary
November 30 – Spring Hill Elementary

In June of 2016, 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 Gary Dreyer 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.

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