GMWIG takes 3rd at state


Conner Peckinpaugh, Impact Editor in Chief

The Marching Woodmen finished their season with 3rd place at ISSMA State Finals for the first time since 2012.

“Leading up to the awards, I really thought we had it in the bag,” senior Giovani Mazza said. “When they announced that we were third, I was a little disappointed. I thought we’d get second at least.”

When it comes to a state-wide competition, perspective is important. There were 37 bands competing in Class B competition this season. Regionals were held to whittle the number of bands down to 20. Semi-State at Pike decided the 10 bands that would move on to State Finals.

“After some thought, I realized how many bands we had to beat to get there,” Mazza said. “Even though I wanted to get first, I was satisfied with third. Placing in the top three in State is not bad at all.”

While placement is out of the bands’ control, the quality of the show is entirely based on how well the performers do individually.

“The performance felt like it had more to it than the rest of them. It felt like everyone knew what was on the line and put their all into the performance,” Mazza said. “Everyone was a little more focused, and everyone really cared about the results. Even the students who didn’t seem to care much earlier in the season were performing to their best ability.”

For the seniors and juniors, the return to Lucas Oil Stadium was highly anticipated. Both sophomores and freshmen were welcomed into the stadium for the first time this year since COVID-19 shut down marching competition last fall.

“My first experience marching in Lucas Oil was amazing,” freshman Alex Flora said. “The feeling of walking out onto the field and seeing the huge audience in the stands is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Unlike other performing venues, Lucas Oil Stadium is indoors. The sound on the field is completely different to the performers throughout the entire show. Usually, the sound travels into the stands and barely echoes back because of the open air. Indoors, the sound bounces off of every wall and echoes back onto the field.

“The most memorable part for me was playing the drum breaks during the show and hearing the audience roar as the brass came back in with their hits,” Flora said. “Overall, the whole experience was a true adrenaline rush.”

The band will be taking their quadrennial trip to Hollywood to perform in the Hollywood Christmas Parade from Nov. 26-30.