The crashing of cymbals, melody of the marimba and loud clang of drums mix with costumes, props and intense choreography to produce our school’s Winter Percussion.
Outside of marching season, there are many band-related activities, like Winter Percussion, Winter Guard, jazz band, pep band and concert band, that band members participate in; Winter Percussion’s season is in full-swing right now.
“It’s basically a marching band show without the wind players, so it’s just the percussionists,” junior Colin Short said. “Instead of performing on a football field, you perform on a tarp that’s the size of a basketball court.”
The ensemble is made up of both percussionists and wind players who learn percussion instruments, as the activity is open to anyone.
“The process to get in is not as much an audition as it is a rehearsal,” senior Myah Bales said. “You see where everyone fits in best and what everyone’s really good at. That’s how you’re placed because there’re no cuts or anything. We all get an audition packet, and a lot of wind players who want to be in it will go to other percussion players and ask them to teach them; I tried teaching a trumpet how to play bass drum.”
This year’s show is called “V is for Villain,” and each member of the ensemble plays a different famous villain.
“The show starts with a little girl who is dressed up like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz; she represents innocence,” Short said. “There are these weird creatures around her, so she’s confused, scared and trying to get away from them. Every person in the ensemble is a different character, playing these villains, so I am Beetlejuice. The snare drummer right next to me is the Joker. Everyone is their own character, which is really fun. So that’s the feel all throughout the opener and part two, then half-way through part three, Dorothy turns into a villain herself. You can interpret it in different ways, like the people you surround yourself with will influence you.”
With a focus on music, this season has placed the group high in competition.
“This season’s gone very well so far,” freshman Andrew Jones said. “Our first competition, we got fourth, but we didn’t have a lot of show out then or any visual effects yet. The past couple of times we placed second to Zionsville, but our visual has gone up a lot. Our goal is to do the best we can and worry about music. The visual and everything will come later. So we just want to put our heart into it.”
Winter Percussion is judged on facial expressions and emotion at contests.
“While you’re performing, you’re supposed to find the judges and audience and look at them, which is really exhilarating,” Bales said. “They are right there because it’s in the gym as opposed to marching band when they’re way up in the stands and you can really make a connection. I’ve looked at one person the entire show and connected with them.”
The Winter Percussion is a tight-knit group of students with a passion for percussion.
“I love to play drums, and I really have a passion for it,” Bales said. “All my friends are in it, and it’s like a family. If you ever have any problems, you can go to anyone in the percussion ensemble and they’ll be there for you, and I know a lot of people feel that way.”
Tomorrow, the Winter Percussion will compete in Sate Prelims at Avon High School.