By Ivy Lam
Following an extensive marching band season as the Eagle Regiment and a demanding rehearsal schedule, MSD’s Indoor Percussion ensemble traveled to Dayton, Ohio, to compete on the international level at the Percussion World Championships.
The trip took place from Wednesday, April 20 to 24.
Their show was titled “The Heart of Truth: Rituals of Shinto,” in which the percussionists explored the views and concepts of the Shinto religion through performance. Props like bamboo trees and a torii gate, along with voice-overs, were used in the performance to showcase the show’s overall theme.
“For most of the show, our faces were covered by a rice hat, so performing with emotions and body language was not necessary,” said snare drum player Juliana Delgado. “In the beginning of the last movement, however, we had to take the hats off and perform until the very end. It took me a long time to keep my head up or even just raise my hand higher than my head.”
The percussionists were required to arrive at MSD at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday. After, they took a plane to Orlando Airport at 8:35 a.m. and another to Indianapolis Airport at 12:50 p.m. The following hours consisted of rehearsals and practice run-throughs. Before the trip itself, the percussion ensemble rehearsed in and outside of school.
“We prepared for WGI by having consistent rehearsals every Monday and Thursday for 3-4 hours after school and all-day camp days on Saturdays,” said Front Ensemble Section leader Grace Cavaretta. “We also prepared by practicing outside of our normal rehearsal time, such as during our study halls and lunchtimes.”
Their second day consisted of more rehearsals, then a preliminary competition performance at the Wright State University Nutter Center at 4:19 p.m. MSD scored an 88.975.
Succeeding a team picture and a time to freshen themselves at their hotel, the group visited Austin Landing, the region’s popular center for shopping and dining. The students were left to freely roam the bustling central hub for two hours.
On Friday, the musicians departed their hotel at the crack of dawn to rehearse their show at SportsPleX. Starting at noon, the Semi-finals took place at the same center; MSD scored an 88.413.
“My favorite memory would have to be getting back to the hotel after performing our semifinal run and hearing that we made it to finals,” said Delgado.
After tying for 15th place with another school, MSD advanced to the finals competition on Saturday at the University of Dayton Arena; where only the top 15 out of 47 of the groups could proceed to the highest and last level Percussion World Championships.
“My favorite memory would have to be pushing down the University of Dayton Arena Ramp, performing, and then the push back up/the truckload,” said Cavaretta. “Performing in there felt unreal; the crowds were huge, and the adrenaline was like nothing I’ve ever felt before. Not only that, but we had our best run of the show of the season.”
MSD placed 14th out of 47th out of all Scholastic A competitors. Moreover, the trip offered an experience of a lifetime for the participants, improving their leadership and artistry.
“I would say some of the best things I took away from the season would be patience, especially when it comes to being a leader, as well as the importance of consistency in all aspects of the program, from the dedication of the members themselves to rehearsal etiquette and attendance,” said Cavaretta.
The percussionists were also able to watch renowned independent and scholastic world-class groups. Additionally, present connections were strengthened, and new friendships were formed.
“This trip has definitely taught me that no matter how far apart every indoor group is in the world, we are all one giant community,” said Delgado. “Seeing groups from across the country encourage each other while warming up or performing, even though they were competing for the same title, was incredible to see.”
Although the indoor percussion season has ended, the percussionists continue to work hard in and outside of school to prepare for the upcoming marching band season.
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- Ivy Lam is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This school year, she is a member of multiple honor societies and an executive officer for HOSA and Newspaper. Her favorite pastimes include reading, writing, and volunteering.
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