MUSIC CITY MYSTIQUE: A History

The year is 1994—the early days of what is now WGI Indoor Percussion.  Marching drumlines and front ensembles compete in school cafeterias, on stage, and in auditoriums, wearing marching band uniforms and standing still while they play.  It is a far cry from today’s WGI Indoor Percussion ensembles, but the seeds of competition are being sown in places like California, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, and middle Tennessee.

Spurred on by early competitors from Nashville, Tennessee—Father Ryan High School (entering competition in 1993, the first year of WGI percussion) and John Overton High School (entering competition in 1994)—Alan Rice sees a void in one particular area of the competition:  the independent class.  While the independent class was created for the 1994 competitive season, three of the inaugural groups were associated with drum and bugle corps and the fourth group was associated with a university.  There was no group representing the large talent pool in the South.  Alan, well-connected in the marching percussion scene throughout the South, tells his friends and former students, Don Click and Chris Finen, that Nashville is the perfect place to fill this gap in the independent class by starting an independent line from Nashville.

At the time, Don has a great front ensemble at Brentwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee, but not enough students for a full-sized battery.  A little further west, Chris Finen has a great marching battery at Harpeth High School in Kingston Springs, Tennessee, but not enough students for a competitive front ensemble.  In the first of many moments of clarity, Don and Chris combine their schools and create Nashville’s first independent WGI Indoor Drumline:  Music City Mystique.  The talent was not limited to Don and Chris’s high school groups, however.  Players from all over middle Tennessee came out of the woodwork and helped define Mystique’s signature swagger from the first downbeat.  Starting from scratch, Don, Chris, Alan, and countless others helped cobble together Mystique’s first show, “A New Beginning . . .,” and lay the groundwork for what is now the second oldest, and most successful, Independent World Class percussion ensemble in WGI. 

During the next few years Don, Chris, the staff, and the members would build the organization into a family.  Always thinking outside the box and focusing on “what we would want to see in a show,” Mystique won its first world championship in only its second year.  The group dared to rethink what an indoor drumline show should sound and look like.  The membership grew, the shows increased the demand and pushed the envelope, and Mystique quickly became a leader in the activity.  The road was not without its bumps, though.  Mystique marched on hand-me-down floors, played on borrowed instruments, and made their own uniforms in Don’s kitchen.  It was a grassroots, all-hands-on-deck approach.

As the visibility of the group increased and WGI Percussion grew in popularity in the 2000s, Music City Mystique became a destination for young talent from middle Tennessee and across the United States.  Members dedicated themselves to joining the ensemble, some driving upwards of eight hours every weekend or moving from California, just to experience a season with the McM family.

Now celebrating the organization’s 20thyear, Mystique is proud to have left its mark on WGI, proud to have been a family to hundreds of musicians, and proud to push its boundaries into the future.


Past Members:

Aaron Johnson Adam Bailey Adam Green Adam Sones Alan Donofrio Alan Rice Alex Fowlkes Alex Liou Alex Mowery Alex Rosas Alexis Yatuzis Amanda Mccoy Amy Watt Andrew Barlow Andrew Harper Andrew Porter Andrew Sorensen  Andy Fellows Andy Tillotson Angelo Outlaw Annie Pelka Anthea Lackey Ashley Hefner Austin Burger Austin Rideout Austin Shockley Barbara Strobel Ben Carey Ben Lupton Ben Mitchell Ben Nelson Ben Williams Ben Zolkower Beth Broyles Beth Edmondson Bianca Cerio Blake Lankford Brad Carter Brad Deason Brad Francis Brad Love Brandon Allison Brandon Lindsey Brandon Payne Brandyn Hundley Brandyn Hundley Brandyn Hundley Brian Beaird Brian Law Brian Roberts Bryson White Caitlin Ranchino Cam Walton Carl Eppler Carson Carr Chad Alward Chad Burroughs Charles Carty Chase Dickinson Chris Campbell Chris Deberry Chris Finen Chris Lennox Chris Lowry Chris Martin Chris Murphee Chris Otte Chris Parker Chris Watson Christian Clark Christian Clark Christopher Parker Christopher Parker Claire Smith Colin Choat Collin Heldt Conner Currier Corey Boise Corey Roberson Corey Sajous Cory Click Craig Loeffler Daisuke Watanabe Dan Muse Dani Bodkin Daniel Brown Daniel Jones Daniel Muse Daniel Scott Danielle Dye Dave Giddens David Click David Martin David Von Behren Dean Giddens Dean Johnson Della Coleman Denise Fields Derek Badon Derek Schletzer Diane Corley Don Click Doug Teuscher Drew Guy Drew Johannessen Drew Mena Dustin Groves Dustin Roa Dustin Schletzer Dustin Tanner Eddie Capps Elanders Frazier Elizabeth Green Elliot Locke Elliott Lopes Elliott Wittstruck Elrod Van Altizer Emily Jones Emily Tannert Eric Moore Eric Norris Eric Robertson Eric Talbot Eric Willie Erica Bilbrey Erik Johnson Forrest Eagle Garrett Dorsett Gary Washer Geoff Watkins Graham Lewis Greg Stafford Griffin Hood Hannah Boyle Heather Hughes Hunter Stricklin Ian Bracy Ian Hunt Jack Borland Jack Holway Jack Mcgehee Jacob Summers Jake Ansley Jake Lyons Jakob Stauf James Foutch James Sparling Jamie Ingalls Jared Staples Jason Hunt Jason Palmer Jeanine Ash Jeffrey Meloen Jeremiah West Jerry Charvat Jimmy Fuller Joe Aslesom Joe Fant Joe Hobbs Joel Mccauley Joey Morgan Joey Powers John Harvill Jonathan Beavers Jonathan Morrell Jordan Brisendine Jordan Christenot Jordan Goddard Jordan Hayes Jordan Hill Jordan Vaughn Joseph Viviano Josh King Josh Mccollum Josh Nayman Josh Nelson Joshua Madrid Joshua Montgomery Julian Gonzalez Julian Jones Justin Coffey Justin Gesar Justin Lee Justin Lewis Katherine Felthauser Kathleen Wild Katie Krampf Keith Davis Kenny Carrico Kevin Feldser Kevin Geis Kevin Kenney Kevin Pugh Kevin Snow Kirby Cooper Krystal Clark Kwesi Rand Kyle Robinson Lana Tingle Lance England Lane Sommerlin Laura Gassaway Lauren Gregory Lauren Sneed Lauren Tingle Lee Allman Leo Zueluleta Logan Gott Luke Willingham Mallory Wilson Marcus Hawkins Mario Taylor Mark Caldwell Mark Hunter Marshall Digmon Matt Altobell Matt Grimes Matt Harper Matt Jordan Matthew Baker Max Chester Max Mullinax Meagan Hills Melody Monroe Meredith Landorf Meredith Rodgers Michael Bryan Michael Chester Michael Click Michael Mccoy Michelle Nelson Mike Mcdonald Mike Mcintosh Mike Olsen Mollie Lane Myles Harvey Nate Michal Nate Morris Neal Booker Nicholas White Nick White Nicole Lee Nicole Tice Onye Eme-Akwari Patrick Geren Patrick Moore Patrick Roberts Patrick Severs Phillip Morgan Randall Moore Rebecca Tatarsky Rick Wilkerson Rob Corley Rob Lindsey Rob Pastor Ryan Wallace Sal Avila Sam Peck Samantha Fields Sarah Bailey Sarah Baron Sarah Brinkman Sarah Sharp Scott Tanner Scout Brownfield Sean Mahan Shane Crocker Shane Gwaltney Shane Huffman Shane Roberts Shanna Wallace Sherilyn Sperling Sonya Taylor Stephanie Click Stephanie Sorensen Stephen Mark Stephen Nolte Steve Lunsford Taylor Ransom Taylor Thompson Teddy Holcombe Terry Click Terry Isabell Terry Pritchard Thomas Thrasher Tico Parson Tiffany Philpot Tim Dahl Tim Hale Tim Maynard Tim Mena Tim Norris Tim Provence Timmy Bishop Tina Turner Tj Choquette Tommy Nelson Tony Capalad Tony Hartman Tony Lemonds Tremaine Kelley Trey Cokeroft Tyler Adcock Tyler Hildreth Tyrone Carver Veronica Borne Will Broadnax Will Mitchell William Gray William Mitchell Yolanda Thompson Zach Fleming Zach Turner Zack Bauder Zack Marshall Zack Melton Zerick Randolph