By Althea Stetser for The Island Eye News
The Wando High School Marching Band began the season by continuing its winning tradition; it swept the awards at the Gus Moody Memorial Tournament of Champions at Summerville High School on Sept. 23. The event is important to high school bands from the Lowcountry, as it celebrates the life of James Augustus “Gus” Moody, the former band director of Summerville. Wando won awards in the following categories: Most Outstanding Percussion (Class AAA), Most Outstanding Color Guard (Class AAA), Most Outstanding Visual Effects (Class AAA), Most Outstanding Music (Class AAA), 1st Place Class AAA with a Rating of Excellent (highest rating), and Overall Grand Champions.
“The Gus Moody marching competition in Summerville wasn’t taken lightly,” explained senior Joey Mondello. “It was [an opportunity] to prove that this year was going to be like no other. The work put into the show leading up to the weekend was 100 percent focus, determination, and hard work.”
Wando’s show this year is titled “Electra,” which is a symphony of sound, dancing, and visual effects, complete with props designed by parents, staff, and students. The show features soloist Yuuki Garcia on the soprano saxophone and drum majors Jaryn Valdry, A.J. Johnson, Savannah Mellichamp, and Alexis Clark. Musical selections are by Harry Gregson- Williams, Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, and Keith Emerson. The Wando Marching Band is directed by Bobby Lambert, Lanie Radecke, and Jeff Handel.
“Every performer puts in 110 percent effort, and it really showed in our performance Saturday night,” added senior Nikolai Mukhin. “I am proud of the work that we have put into the show this year, and I cannot wait to see what we can do next.”