Denver and the Mile High Orchestra (DMHO), a local band comprised of numerous Belmont graduates, traveled to Los Angeles this week for the debut airing of new series “Next Great American Band.” A sister show from the producers of “American Idol,” “Next Great American Band” premieres this Friday night at 7 p.m. Central on Fox.
The first episode, a two-hour program showing auditions and action behind the scenes, is expected to feature DMHO. Singer/songwriter John Rzeznik (The Goo Goo Dolls), percussionist and performer Sheila E. and Australian TV personality Ian Dickson will serve as judges for “Next Great American Band” while Dominic Bowden (“New Zealand Idol”) hosts the series. The actual viewer-voted competition will begin Oct. 26 after the judges announce the 10 semi-finalists.
Belmont alumni in DMHO include Denver Bierman (leader/singer/trumpet); Jared Ribble (drums); Chris Gregg (alto and soprano sax); Mike Kemp (tenor and bari sax); Jeff Pardo (keys); Justin Carpenter (trombone); Paul Shearer (guitar) and Tony Marvelli (bass). Gregg is the son of Belmont School of Music’s Graduate Studies Director Rob Gregg and Admissions Director Sharon Gregg.
Formed at Belmont in 1999, DMHO consists of three trumpet players, three saxophone players, two trombone players and a rhythm section. In the eight years since its inception, the group has traveled around the globe, performing at churches, conferences, festivals—even at the Olympics—taking their electrifying horn-driven sound to the masses.