Leading the Way: The Jaguar Marching Band Makes Way for the Infant Mystics

Posted on February 24, 2023
Jeb Schrenk



More than 250 members of the Jaguar Marching Band celebrated the Mardi Gras season by leading the Infant Mystics parade through downtown Mobile.

For many seniors, the Monday night parade was a bittersweet performance.

“It’s the last time a lot of them will put on their uniforms,” said Dr. Will Petersen, director of bands at the University of South Alabama. “So it has a special meaning.”

The Jaguar Marching Band performed just behind the emblem float. It was joined on the parade route by President Jo Bonner, along with Student Government Association President Camille Bonura and school mascots SouthPaw and Miss Pawla.

South drum majors tossed beads and exchanged high fives and fist bumps with children along the route. The playlist for the band included “South” and “Jaguar Pride,” along with the ‘80s funk hit “Word Up!”

University alumni and fans threw their fingers up in the shape of a “J” and shouted “Go Jags.”

The Jaguar Marching Band performs in one Mardi Gras parade each year. This year was the first time for Infant Mystics.

William Duncan, a junior who leads the sousaphone section, rode on a float in the MLK Business and Civic Organization Parade on Monday afternoon. After a quick costume change, he rushed over to march in the evening parade.

“I had to run across downtown Mobile in my band uniform just to make it,” Duncan said, laughing. “It was close, kind of crazy, navigating all the traffic.”

At 7 p.m., the band played an impromptu National Anthem for police officers escorting the procession, and the parade began to roll. 


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