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The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The Sound of Dominance

For marching band, renowned nationally for its championship success, the key to winning is in the details—and the hours upon hours of hard work

Music is more than just notes on the page for senior Jackson Craft. More than just noise in the air. By playing the tuba, Craft has found the opportunity to connect with the audience. Craft joined the marching band his freshman year and has been a part of the award-winning marching band ever since.

However, preparing for the season comes with rigorous hours and time commitment.

“We take a pretty good break throughout the summer, we come back the first week of August. That first week will be our 12 and a half hour days for four days… and then you have another week of eight hour days,” Craft said. “That’s when af ter school rehearsals start, and those are only for like two and a half hours after school. From the beginning of August, it’s not so much learning new stuff, it’s kind of seeing how close to perfect we can get on the stuff that we have.”

As Craft gained more performance experiences, he was given leadership roles his junior and senior years. Despite the hours upon hours spent performing and practicing, Craft believes that the success comes from the leadership set up.

“The thing that makes the difference is it’s really our leadership program. You won’t find a lot of places [that have the] ability to micromanage on the field through student leadership. Which is [what] speeds up tiny mistakes… because when you really think about it, you have, say 200 people on the field. If every single person thinks about one thing they did wrong, then you fix 200
mistakes in one go and that’s the kind of the way we approach it. It’s not so much how much practice it’s how efficient our system of practices,” Craft said.

Band’s success dates back nearly 50 years and was put on the map in the early 2000s. The director at the time, Scott Rush, had them play in the Midwest band and orchestra clinic and soon after, the marching band made Grand Nationals. This opened the door for the band and since then, the band has won 15 consecutive state championships and placed 6th in Grand Nationals two years ago.

When current director Bobby Lambert took over nine years ago, much from the previous director was set in place.

“Mr. Rush really set a curriculum that was designed around tone and quality of sound and excellence in performance and I think we’ve continued that process by quite a bit. I think another thing that he did that was really good that we try to honor is the idea of caring for people just as much as we care for the music,” Lambert said.

For a program as successful as the marching band, Lambert said it can be challenging to maintain these ideals due to stress and challenges. However, Lambert said he believes if the band continues to care for others as much as their passion for music, then they will continue their successful career.

“Our motto is great people doing great things. That’s kind of the hallmark which we try to live by. Great people being first and then actively making things happen. And great things, not good things, but great things,” Lambert said.

Starting the show back in August, Lambert watched as the show started to fall into place and the students performed better and better each time, eventually giving the band their 15th straight win.

“Whenever you do something 15 times, it sounds like it’s easy. I would… actually [say it] gets harder each and every time because everyone else is getting better,” Lambert said. “Having won [it] so many times, it can sometimes seem less special. [What we’ve tried to do is] be humble about it, but also recognize the amount of sheer effort and will that the students and the staff put together.”

Head drum major junior Annabelle Twomey helps manage the classroom setting, along with leading warm ups and communicating from student to director. Twomey has been a part of the marching band for three years and was also a part of the recent state win.

“[The] week leading up to state is always a very intense time… the band is starting to get very nit picky… because we want to have the entire show done. And we want to be able to start fine tuning things,” Twomey said.

For Twomey, she’s noticed the outpouring of support from those in the community.

“We have amazing support. It’s just a very welcoming community, we have a lot For marching band, renowned nationally for its championship success, the key to winning is in the details—and the hours upon hours of hard work of support from the parents and from the district. It’s become a very welcoming place when people actually want to be there,” Twomey said.

Despite the hardships that Craft has faced while being in band, finishing his final competition was emotional.

“It was after that little bit of waterworks, and just realizing the magnitude of what you do over the four years, because it feels good to be great,” Craft said. “Knowing that you couldn’t have done it without the people around you… it’s really special.”

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