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A championship chord for SEHS band
1127 Marching Mustangs
The South Effingham High School marching band captured the Georgia Marching Band Series Champions Cup for the third straight year, winning the final round of the series at Grovetown High School outside of Augusta. - photo by Photo provided

South Effingham High School’s marching band once again brought home the championship of the Georgia Marching Band Series.

The Marching Mustangs claimed the GMBS Champions Cup for the third straight year, winning the final round of the Georgia Marching Band Series hosted by Grovetown High School on Nov. 10.

“I’m really proud of our kids. They earned it,” said Sean McBride, director of bands at SEHS. “The kids really came on strong.”

The Marching Mustangs won the awards for best overall percussion, marching and music, and finished second overall in color guard and drum majors. South Effingham also won best in Class AAAA drum major, color guard, percussion and band.

Winning the Champions Cup capped a stellar season for the SEHS marching band. The Marching Mustangs competed in four competitions this year— the Burke County Bear Classic, Jeff Davis Yellow Jacket Invitational, East Georgia Marching Classic and the GMBS finals — and won all four.

“Ever since we started in April with our spring camps, our kids just really worked hard,” McBride said. “It’s been really amazing. The senior leadership was outstanding.”

“School of Rock” was the theme of the show the Marching Mustangs performed this year. The musical selections were “Paint It Black,” “Creep,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and a medley titled “Kitchen Sink Part Two.”

“They really enjoyed the show,” McBride said. “At the end of the season, it was still full of energy.”

Just as the band’s 127 members all contributed to winning the GMBS championship, McBride said the coordination of this year’s show was a team effort by the band staff: assistant director Michael Nestor, percussion directors Cory Shuman and Melissa McBride (who also arranges the music), color guard instructor Eric Scott and middle school band directors Ken Zamurray and Bryan Agan, who also assist on the SEHS staff.

McBride also credited the SEHS band parents for their support. He said more than 200 parents made the trip to Grovetown, and the Marching Mustangs “could hear them cheering and raising a ruckus.”

In addition, McBride said, several parents decorated the South Effingham band room for the Marching Mustangs’ return to campus after winning the championship. Parents lined the driveway and cheered as the buses arrived at SEHS.

“Our parents were awesome,” McBride said. “We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the parents.”

The Georgia Marching Band Series has five preliminary events leading up to the final round. The top two scores for each band are averaged, and the highest of those scores qualify for the finals.