The Wando Marching Band made history with its best finish ever in the Bands of America Grand National Championships this weekend, coming in sixth place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Grand National Championships is recognized as the premier marching band event in the nation.
The field competition featured 108 bands in preliminary competition on Thursday and Friday, with 37 bands advancing to semifinals during the day on Saturday. Twelve bands advanced to the finals on Saturday evening, and Wando placed sixth among with a score of 93.95 (the Warrior’s highest score ever in the Grand National Championships).
This is Wando High School’s fifth appearance at Grand Nationals and Wando’s fifth year making it to the finals. Only two other bands from South Carolina participated in the championships this year, Fort Mill High School and Nation Ford High School.
The title for Wando’s show this year was “By a Thread,” which was based on the works of Alexander Calder. Senior, Davis Ginn, was proud of his final performance as a Wando Warrior.
“We had three amazing performances, and most of the groups who placed ahead of us have won a national championship,” explained Ginn. “We are very proud of our performances at Grand Nationals & proud to represent Wando and the state of South Carolina.”
The Wando Band faced several obstacles this season, from Hurricane Florence taking away a week’s worth of rehearsals to Tropical Storm Michael stealing a day right before this competition. Before their first regional championship win in school history, the speaker system malfunctioned, and the band had to perform with no electronics for the entire show. They persevered and won the entire competition.
The Warriors dealt with adversity again on the way to Grand Nationals. The prop truck broke down in Kentucky (5 hours from Indianapolis), so the band had to rehearse without any props, tubas, percussion, or color guard flags before the preliminary performance. Fortunately, the truck arrived shortly before the band took the field.
Photo courtesy of Jenny Gil Photography