(All photos and interviews by Brian Munoz)

EDWARDSVILLE - Alton's Marching 100 always leaves an impact where ever they perform and this past Saturday at the Tiger Ambush Classic at Edwardsville High School was not any different.

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Alton High School’s Marching 100 production this year at the Tiger Ambush Classic in Edwardsville was called “Trance,” and it contained Shostakovich 10 and a few other pieces within it. When the Alton Marching 100 left the field, they riveted the crowd with their performance.

Director of Bands at Alton High School, Alyssa Cudney offered positive remarks about the festival and this year’s production. The production follows the band as they travel to a hypnotist and fall under a trance.

“A color guard member puts the [band] under a trance in the beginning, the [band] is scared,” she said. “They don’t know what’s going on and then we start to relax and go with it. The color guard member manipulates the band a little bit and the music during that time is “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. We start coming out of the trance towards the end and then we close off with a big rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

The group has seen great progress since their annual summer band camp earlier this year.

Cudney said: “It’s definitely different than what we have done in the past. Band camp went super well, we have about 40 freshman this year but the band is getting a little older, a little more mature and they want it. They work really hard and get along really well. We’re excited to see where this season goes.”

For senior Alton High School drum major Tame’ica Mcswyne this is an exciting production for her senior year.

“Im very excited for this year but sad it’s my last year with the group. Going into the first show, I feel like we’re in really good shape,” Mcswyne said.

The opener of the show offers a series of favorite moments for the drum major.

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“My favorite part of the show is the first movement because I like the dark element from it but the contrasting light portions in the show. It’s really fun to conduct from my perspective, [the band] also enjoys all of the visual components in it as well,” Mcswyne said.

Alton Color Guard Director Michael Paynic said: “They had a very good first run tonight. The highlight this evening was how well they executed the flag work we learned this week.”

Alton HS Woodwind Instructor, Sophie Browning said: “I feel really good about tonight’s performance especially compared to last year, the band has grown a lot, even during the season so far. Rehearsal has been very productive and we’ve sectioned off our time evenly between visual and music. For the first show, it’s pretty impressive, so what we’ve been doing seems to be working. The Alton community is probably one of the most supportive communities of a music program that I’ve seen. That support is great and the kids appreciate it as well.”

Cudney said as a whole, she felt fantastic about Alton Marching 100’s performance.

“It was our first run out and like I told the kids, this may have been the best first run of my career,” she said. “We feel good, lot’s to fix and improve but for the first time out it was great. We’ve added a lot of visuals in the show and really hit the final movement of the show.

“The support from the parents and community has been great. People are excited with tonight being our debut show. The crowd reacted really well and also has been excited to be our show. One Edwardsville parent mentioned ‘I’ve been really excited to see your show!’ because we’re known to have fun shows. We’ve had a lot of support and having the last slot of the night was great.”

Cudney closed by saying Alton High has a wonderful couple of parents who took the prop building over, which was a big help.

“We got them done this week and implemented them,” she said. “As the season progresses, we’re going to tweak those and see how we can play with them in throughout show."

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