SCOOBA — Although nearly 20 years had passed since Adam Wade last performed in a marching band, he didn’t miss a beat last fall after donning the uniform of East Mississippi Community College’s Mighty Lion Band.
Wade, a 37-year-old single father of a daughter, Star, 11, and a son Seth, 7, spent much of his youth performing in marching bands, playing various brass instruments before graduating from Clarkdale High School in 1998.
The Scooba native briefly attended EMCC after high school but wound up pursuing other interests. He always enjoyed band and when he reenrolled at EMCC last year, Wade tried out for the Mighty Lion Band and was accepted.
“I never dreamed I would have a second chance to do something like this,” Wade said. “I love marching band and being with that group of kids. They keep me young. I am just very grateful.”
Assistant Band Director Christopher King said Wade is a talented musician and enthusiastic band member.
“Adam jumped in with both feet and arms wide open,” King said. “He has just been a fireball. He is dedicated to doing everything as well as he can. He picks everything up like a sponge and never looks back.”
At first, the band’s younger members didn’t know what to think of Wade, King said.
“Now they think the world of him,” King said. “He is just so nice, humble and helpful. They look up to him and consider him a friend, but a friend with vast experience.”
The Mighty Lion Band, under the direction of Stephen Stringer, performs concerts and halftime shows and participates in many community parades, activities and competitions. The band includes musicians, a Color Guard and the Eastern Belles dance squad.
When Wade first joined the band, he played tuba. He was later asked to play a French horn and then a mellophone.
“I play whatever they need,” Wade said. “I really enjoy marching.”
On Sundays he is a drummer at the church he attends.
Music isn’t his only bent. Wade is also an accomplished woodworker who transforms raw and processed wood into art décor, creating crosses, mountain scenes or whatever else may strike his fancy.
His love of woodworking comes naturally. Wade has always enjoyed the outdoors and loves to kayak, canoe and camp with friends and his children. He plans on parlaying his appreciation for nature into a career and is enrolled in EMCC’s Forestry Technology program. He graduates next spring and intends to continue his education at Mississippi State University.
Wade said there was never any question about where he would go to college.
“I know there are other schools that offer Forestry but I have heard tons of good stuff about the Forestry programs at EMCC,” Wade said. “I think the quality of the education at EMCC is great. All of the teachers are involved with the students and want to make sure we are keeping up and making good grades. That is a good thing and, I think, is kind of a rare thing.”
When asked, Wade said it is difficult for him to imagine where he will be in 10 years. For now, he is more focused on the present.
“My goal is to be a better person and a better dad to my kids than I was the day before,” Wade said. “I feel right now I am at a point in my life where EMCC is a stepping stone for me to become a better person, not just career-wise but all around.”