Wando band places sixth in the nation, receives national recognition

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Wando High School Marching Band made history by placing sixth in the nation at the Bands of American Grand National Championships.

This was the band’s fifth year in a row to make an appearance at nationals, and this year’s performance landed them the highest score they’ve ever received.

“Being sixth place in a pool of 108 bands form over 30 different states is quite the accomplishment,” said Bobby Lambert, the director of Bands at Wando High School.

Placing sixth place is something senior trombone player Savannah Mellichamp said is an accomplishment she will never forget and one they have worked toward for years.

“Knowing that we are the best Wando that Wando has ever been is just a great experience,” Mellichamp said.

“The kids have been working harder than they’ve ever worked. This has been coming on for a few years. I would say the last four classes have set us up to be this successful now,” said Lambert.

This year was also a first for other state recognition.

“The Wando band has gone to several regionals in the past, and this year we were fortunate enough to actually win two of those regionals," Lambert said. “We had never won a regional before.”

The senior said getting here wasn’t easy.

It was a lot of work that paid off.

“A lot of individual practice, at home, practice in school, practice rooms at lunch, after school. Just always practicing,” Mellichamp said.

Mellichamp said it all paid off when they won sixth.

“The payoff has been wining sixth place at grand nationals, meeting so many friends I’ll have for life. The payoff has been all the rewards just for knowing I worked really hard for something and achieved those goals I’ve always wanted since middle school,” she said.

Mellichamp’s last high school performance was one for the record books, and one she said she wouldn’t soon forget.

“It’s bittersweet knowing it was my last performance ever and at the same time knowing it was the best performance I’ve ever had,” Mellichamp said.

It won’t be her last time taking the field, the senior is now looking at playing in the marching band for the University of South Carolina.

“I’ll know if I’m accepted by Demember and hopefully plan to study music education there. I’ll be in their band, maybe their marching band,” Mellichamp said.

Mellichamp says she wants to be a music teacher and pursue a career with her trombone.

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