Posted Date: 02/16/2023
Two Maple Heights City Schools’ 2021 graduates, Paulena and Lalena Young, and their bandmates, won two Grammy Awards this February as a part of the Tennessee State University (TSU) Marching Band “The Aristocrat of Bands” under the direction of Dr. Reginald McDonald.
The TSU Marching Band recorded their winning album, “The Urban Hymnal” this past summer. The album won in the Best Gospel Roots category. They are the first college band to be nominated for a Grammy in this category and the first to win.
The other Grammy win came as a collaboration of the Aristocrat of Bands with artist J. Ivy's on "The Poet Who Sat By the Door'' which won for the best spoken-word poetry album.
The TSU Marching Band has also been nominated for two NAACP image awards for outstanding gospel/Christian song and they performed in the Rose Parade in 2022.
Paulena and Lalena received a full-ride scholarship to TSU through a combination of academic and band scholarships. Paulena is a sophomore psychology major who plays the trombone. Lalena is a junior music education major who plays the trumpet. Both are members of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority. Their music journey began in ninth grade at Maple Heights High School with Mr. Robert Baxter.