Band Expands its Horizons with New Competition

By BELINDA KUO

STAFF WRITER

 Band attended its first ever Winter Percussion competition at Monrovia HS on Feb. 17.

 Winter Percussion is a competition that encourages all band members, not solely percussion members, to learn to play percussion instruments. It is one of the major events for the winter season, following the end of marching season. Drumline placed last out of eleven teams.

 According to band director Rich Torres, the percussion ensemble performed exceedingly well, despite the obstacles they faced.

 “[Band] had a challenge that everyone on campus has to deal with: we have one gym, and [a lot of] different sports and activities need to use it,” Torres said. “When [band] does not have opportunities to be inside of the gym, it [becomes] very challenging. It sounds different in the gym than it does outside, and it is also an issue when trying to do things physically outside as opposed to inside.”

 In addition,  co-percussion section leader junior Matthew Tashima explains the importance of Winter Percussion.

 “Our school has never done Winter Percussion before. This is something new that we have done to get band members incorporated into percussion,” Tashima said. “This competition is different, because there are no brass instruments or wind instruments—it is just strictly percussion.”

 Furthermore, band member senior Ezdras Meraz-Lerma explains his satisfaction with the overall performance.

 “I felt that all our hard work did add up to a good performance, regardless of what judges would say about it,” Meraz-Lerma said. “[My favorite part] was performing, [because competitions] are very different from when we play inside the band room. In the gym, we are completely spread out, and it is very hard to hear each other, but it was a good learning experience [for] coping with changes.”

 Drumline’s next competition is the Battery Sectional on Feb. 25.

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