McGavock High School

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McGavock High School
3150 McGavock Pike
Nashville, Tennessee 37214
United States
Type Public high school
Established 1971
School district Metro Nashville Public Schools
Principal Robbin Wall
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 2410[1]
Mascot Raider
Information 615-885-8850

McGavock High School (commonly McGavock or Big Mac) is a public high school located in Nashville, Tennessee. The school is very notable for its strong band program, having won the state championship 24 times: 1972-1979, 1982, 1987-1991, 1993-1994, 1997-2000, 2002-2005.[2] This includes being grand champion at the annual Contest of Champions 12 times, more than any other high school since the contest began in 1962.[2]


Al Gore (left) and Barack Obama at McGavock High School, 2014

McGavock Comprehensive High School opened in 1971. It initially served students in grades ten through twelve who had previously attended Cameron, Donelson and Two Rivers high schools. McGavock added ninth grade in 1978.

McGavock is a part of the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools system. It sits on a part of the McGavock plantation that was purchased by Metro Parks in 1968 for $68,000. The land is still the property of the park service. The school was named for the antebellum Two Rivers mansion built by David H. McGavock.

McGavock was the first truly comprehensive high school built in Nashville. Planning for the school took place during the administration of Superintendent Dr. John Harris. Dr. James Burns, the resident consultant for secondary development for Metro-Nashville Public Schools, developed a structure that would serve as a model for other comprehensive high schools.

A leadership team, consisting of Chester LaFever, Executive Principal, Charles Hailey, Coordinator of Program and Staff Development, and Charles Adwell, Coordinator for Vocational and Technical Education, was formed in the fall of 1970. The team incorporated many comprehensive programs including theater, horticulture, library learning center, astronomy, music and 23 vocational labs. McGavock was the first high school in Nashville that combined the academic program with extensive vocational training.


McGavock is the largest high school in Tennessee, with a little under 500,000 sq. feet. McGavock has four softball fields, a baseball diamond, six tennis courts, a football stadium and a track. The 14-acre building houses 82 classrooms, 14 science labs, a school farm called Raider Ranch, a credit union, a flight simulator, a bistro, nine Career and Technical shop/classroom areas (including a student-ran courtroom, a health science lab, and a grooming and veterinary science lab) seven business education labs, two gymnasiums, two cafeterias, a 586 seat auditorium, and formerly a two-story library (currently a one story on the second floor) with fiction, audio-visuals, materials and equipment on one level, and non-fiction and computers on the other. It has a green room, a planetarium, a computer and technical education (CTE) lab equipped with 60 computers and a CTE presentation room equipped with state-of-the-art projection capabilities.

Marching band[edit]

The McGavock High School Marching Band is a 24-time State Champion of the Contest of Champions competition held in Murfreesboro at the MTSU stadium annually. The Director of Bands is John David Hazlett. John Womack is the Associate Director of Bands. The band has a long tradition of excellence and is known as the long blue line. The marching band design staff includes John David Hazlett music arranger and composer, Jason Palmer visual designer, Jason Palmer percussion arranger, Zack Stewart percussion coordinator. Their marching band uniforms were used in the music video for Taylor Swift's You Belong With Me.

Winner of internationally acclaimed John Philip Sousa Foundation Sudler Shield Award 1994 Bands of America Southeastern Regional Champions, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia 1995, 1996 First place awards at numerous competitions, including twelve-time Grand Champion at M.T.S.U. Contest of Champions 1972, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 Finalist band in Bands of America Grand National Championships in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990

Southern Regional Grand Champions in Bands of America Southern Regional Championships - 1990

Hundreds of Superior ratings in marching and concert competitions and festivals

Representatives of Nashville and Tennessee at:

  • Tournament of Roses Parade - Pasadena, California 1979
  • Orange Bowl Parade - Miami, Florida 1972, 1994
  • Statue of Liberty Re-dedication - New York, New York 1986
  • Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade - New York, New York 1992
  • Hollywood Christmas Parade - Hollywood, California 1998
  • Toronto, Canada 1987
  • Mexico City, Mexico 1975
  • Nassau, Bahamas 1982, 1991, 1994, 1997
  • Washington, D.C. 1978, 1986
  • Atlanta, Georgia 1973
  • Orlando, Florida 1977, 1980, 1985, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005

National television appearances include:

  • Tournament of Roses Parade - Pasadena, California 1979
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade - New York, New York 1992
  • Hollywood Christmas Parade - Hollywood, California 1998
  • Orange Bowl Parade - Miami, Florida 1972, 1994
  • Lucille Ball Anniversary Special 1978
  • Real People opening features 1978 - 1983
  • Bob Hope Christmas Special 1991
  • National Toyota Television Campaign 1990

Recognized by the National Band Association as one of the Ten Finest Bands in the United States

Performances at numerous civic parades and conventions throughout the United States

Notable alumnus[edit]


  1. ^ "Tennessee School Improvement Planning Process". p.15. p. 91. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Tennessee State Champions at COC since 1969". Retrieved 2008-12-30. 
  3. ^ "'The Rock' remembers Nashville past". August 9, 2015. Retrieved November 16, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°11′09″N 86°40′42″W / 36.185827°N 86.678454°W / 36.185827; -86.678454