Winter percussion looks forward to successful wrap-up

March 28, 2017 — by Eleanor Goh

The 30 members of the winter percussion ensemble will set out for their second-to-last competition tomorrow at Mountain House High in San Joaquin County. Because the competition is a good indicator of how well they will place in their final competition at James Logan High one week later, members are hoping to rank at least in the top three.

Their season has been characterized by learning from their mistakes during their second year in a tough circuit of competitions. The ensemble was promoted from Class A to Open Class last year, and they are aiming to eventually make the jump from Open to World Class, the highest division.

Winter percussion’s program this year, titled “Level Up,” centers around the idea of gaining more experience and skills as one matures.

“The meaning behind it is that since we have practically all new staff this year, we are trying to ‘level up’ our percussion program at Saratoga,” senior cymbalist Anya Prasad said.

The entire percussion staff created the show’s theme together, and its execution was handled by instructor Adam Tsukamoto, who designed uniforms and worked with drill writers to ensure the music gave off the right type of feel.

“The theme is taken from gaming,” senior marimba player Ally Kim said. “There are a lot parts in the music that ascend and quicken, and we have a lot of showoff-y sections, like features.”

So far, the team has attended two competitions. In their first competition, winter percussion placed fifth out of six teams, and in Fresno on March 4, the team placed eighth out of nine in its division.

According to section leader senior David Lung, winter percussion did not see much success in the early part of its season because the show was still incomplete and was competing against full shows from other teams.

“We got penalties for going under the time limit,” Lung said. “We were also judged on musicality, which concerns the flow of the song and how you perform. That didn’t go too well because the performance was unfinished.”

Now that the show has been completed after almost four months and the ensemble has had three weeks to polish up, the team is anticipating doing better tomorrow.

“The rhythmic percussion line got a lot more physically stable with the drums, and the whole ensemble learned to relax when playing,” senior drummer Alex Kwon said. “It now looks like we're enjoying our performance and we’re confident with our parts.”


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