Wando High School Marching Band makes history and breaks records with 12th SC 5A State Championship

This past Saturday night at Irmo High School, in front of several thousand spectators, the Wando High School Marching Band broke records and dominated the South Carolina 5A State Marching Band Competition being named 2019 State Champion.

Wando achieved an overall finals score of 95.65 with its performance of Absentia. This 12th championship is the most for any SC 5A high school marching band. Wando’s performance of Absentia also won every caption category: Music Performance, Visual Performance, and Overall Effect. Arriving home early Sunday morning, they were greeted with a Mount Pleasant Police Department escort and hundreds of cheering parents and fans.

The Bands of Wando High School Marching Program band was named tops in the state for nine straight years, but in 2014, 2016 and 2018 the band did not appear at SC 5A State Competition in order to pursue the Bands of America Grand National stage whereby at each appearance they were named a Top-12 Finalist and in 2018 placed sixth overall. Returning back to the SC 5A competition this year, Wando is again State Champion.

“We are so proud of our students and are thrilled to represent Mount Pleasant,” said Bobby Lambert, Wando’s Director of Bands. “Wando makes history with a record breaking 12th 5A State Championship. This win represents the hard work and imagination of students, families, and staff over many years.”

Clarinet Soloist Katie Bezanson said, “It was thrilling to be a part of this as a senior, because it was such a satisfying way to end to my Wando marching season. I’m so proud of everyone who worked hard to make this work, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

Two weeks ago, Wando Marching Band placed third at the Bands of America Regionals in Orlando, Fla. out of 22 marching bands that competed from around the Southeast and Midwest.

Last weekend, the Bands of Wando hosted a Community Performance of this year’s show Absentia and started off the event with a performance that included the three feeder middle school band programs, Cario, Laing, and Moultrie. The $5 entrance fee for the program raised $750 for each of the three middle school band programs. After Wando Marching Band performed, a raffle drawing for a new Subaru Crosstrek from Crews Subaru was held. Ken French of Crews Subaru along with Kate Darby and the Rev. Eric Mack of the Charleston County School Board drew the winning ticket. The lucky winner was Tanya Calhoun.

While its marching season is now complete, The Bands of Wando is in the middle of concert season. The next performances include symphonic concerts on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 15 at 3 p.m., as well as a Holiday Kaleidoscope concert on Dec. 11 at 7pm, all in the Performing Arts Center at Wando High School.

The Bands of Wando is under the direction of Bobby Lambert, Lanie Radecke and Jeff Handel. Michael Gray is the Program Coordinator for Wando Marching Band, Tim Cole is Visual Caption Head and Sarah Price is the Director of Color Guard.

The Bands of Wando thanks its Harmony Sponsors, the Town of Mount Pleasant, the Charleston County School District, the Bands of Wando Foundation and Alumni and the tireless support of their parents. To learn more visit WandoBands.org.

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