The longtime Wylie tradition of “It Is Well” being played by the Pure Gold Band at the end of each football game has seen revival in student recognition this season. The cheerleaders, football players, trainers, and students are taking time to stand as the band plays, honoring Wylie friends who have been lost in recent and past years.
Wylie alumni who know its history and cherish their time participating in the beloved tradition have welcomed its revival and none more than Wylie High School’s new choir director Brittany Gurganus. For this reason, she added “It Is Well” as the concluding song for their performances.
“I’m a Wylie alumni and band alumni so it [“It Is Well”] means a lot to me and this program means a lot to me,” says Gurganus. She said all choir programs end with a traditional song and as she pondered on which song it should be “It Is Well” just made sense.
Gurganus said she sought guidance from one of Wylie’s former band directors, Mike Lunney. Lunney directed the Pure Gold Band and was predecessor of Louis Thorton – the founding father of this tradition. Additionally, Gurganus ran it by the current band director Kyle McDonald who Gurganus said supported wholeheartedly expanding the tradition to the choir program.
Wylie’s choir is excited to continue the tradition; however, they perform a different arrangement than that of how the band performs it. Gurganus has taught music education for 11 years at various campuses in the Wylie ISD and is thrilled to be teaching at the high school level. Other changes Gurganus says to expect in the choir program is an increased presence of the show choir as well as members of the choir being showcased independently singing the National Anthem at sporting events.
By Kristen Johnson