Wando Band is far from the traditional high school marching band by any measure of their unique musical performances. The band will be jazzing up its annual Community Performance with a never before seen production including several middle schools in the East Cooper area.
On Saturday, Oct. 26, students from Cario Middle, Laing Middle and Moultrie Middle will play alongside Wando Band for the first time. The event starts at 7 p.m. at the District 2 Stadium. Admission is $5.
"This way it will a true community performance because if it were not for our amazing middle schools then we could never go to these state competitions and do well," said E.C. Setser, president of Wando Band Boosters.
The performance will include Wando's awarding-winning show "Absentia" designed by Wando’s Program Coordinator Michael Gray. It includes an epic rendition of Samuel Barber’s Medea’s Dance of Vengeance.
Setser described "Absentia" as the "feeling of home and being with people. Like a house through the ages and all the things that those walls see, feel and hear."
Then when all of those familial remembrances are gone, all that is left is absentia, Setser said. Abstract and artsy themes such as this one help Wando set the bar for national competitions.
Setser credited the Bands of Wando Foundation founder Dr. Don Johnson for being the driving force that brought the middle schools and high schools together.
"We as a community should be proud to support and encourage these hardworking student musicians," Johnson said.
After the performance, a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek from Crews Subaru will be raffled. The winner of the grand prize can opt for $10,000. Tickets are $20 each, three for $50 or seven for $100. Purchases are available on the band's website through Oct. 23. All proceeds support the Bands of Wando.
Setser said the Wando Band playing in front of its home crows is payback for all the community has done for them.
"We wouldn't be able to travel where we want to travel and play the kind of music we want to play if we didn't have the parents and the community supporting us," Setser said. "If we didn't have the community behind us I don't know where we'd be."
The Bands of Wando will compete at the SC 5A State Championship on Nov. 2 in Irmo. Wando is tied with Irmo at 11 state championships and seeks to set the state record with 12.
For more information, visit WandoBands.org or call 843-693-0537.