A former Glacier View Junior High School student who left to pursue his Hollywood dreams returned Friday with his new boy band.
And if the student body at the South Hill school is any indication, the group will do well.
There were screams – loud enough to leave ringing in the ears – and perhaps a few tears as Mathias Anderle and the rest of Invasion performed before a crowd of hundreds during an afternoon pep assembly.
The boy banders sang and danced through about three numbers – eliciting shrieks from teens in the front rows when they got close enough for high-fives.
Their moves earned new fans.
“It was beautiful. It was amazing,” Stephanie Warner, 14, a ninth-grader, declared as she stood with friends in the gym after the show.
Stephanie wasn’t familiar with Invasion before the performance because the band is only a few weeks old. But “I know them now,” she said, wearing a wide smile. “I’m going to know them forever.”
Even before Friday’s performance, Anderle had a following at Glacier View. The young crooner, now 19, was part of the school’s first-ever ninth grade class when it opened in 2008.
He left later that year, but stayed in touch with school leaders even as he went onto star in a Nickelodeon channel musical and record his own music. He returned for a solo performance a couple years ago, said Principal Mark Vetter.
“He’s working hard at living his dream,” the principal said. “It’s great when your kids get a shot to do that.”
Anderle still has family members in the Puyallup area, several of whom came to Friday’s show.
Along with Anderle, Invasion includes Disney Channel star Kenton Duty, Nolan Sotillo from the movie “Prom” and Nick Dean and John Lindahl, veterans of the TV talent show “The X Factor.”
The group is scheduled to perform at a Girl Scouts gathering in Seattle today.
At Glacier View Friday, the bandmates started out singing a capella and then moved on to up-tempo tracks with energetic choreography. Afterward, they signed autographs, posed for photos and answered questions from Glacier View student journalists.
Anderle said it felt surreal but nice to be back in the familiar halls of his junior high alma mater. “To come back, see the teachers – it’s great,” he said.
It also seemed to be something more. More than one student said Anderle’s connection to the school made the day more special.
The performance was great, said Alex Wicks, 15, a ninth-grader. “And it’s really inspiring to see a Glacier View student doing something like that.”