Indoor percussion returns to action

by Sarah Perez

THE ROARING ‘20s: The members of West Broward’s Indoor Percussion rehearse outside on a simulated floor that acts as a grid. The program is in preparation for their performance at FFCC Finals in Daytona, competing against schools across the state. Photo by Sarah Perez

The pounding of a bass drum echoes off the walls of the gymnasium as the members of West Broward’s indoor percussion play their very last note of the show. The atmosphere of the gym goes to a standstill for the ensemble as they are frozen during that moment. The members, legs aching but filled with adrenaline, proudly take in the cheers of the crowd applauding their performance.

The indoor percussion program is a chance to feature West Broward’s front ensemble and drumline in the marching band. West Broward’s indoor percussion is making a comeback after last year’s cancellation of the program due to conflicts in administration and insufficient funds. This year’s show, entitled What a Time To Be Alive, focuses on the era of the ‘Roaring 20s’, featuring music styles common during the 1920s.

“Our show is a period piece based off of the 1920s,” said Ensemble Director Mike Lao. “We stay as true as we can to the overall soundscape of the era with the ragtime and fast swing we play.”

Concert indoor percussion became a sufficient alternative to the program last year when the chance for a fulfilling marching indoor program was not able to become an option for the school. However, the program was still able to compete and perform.

“We felt that it was best to still give students a chance to compete, although it was in a different category,” said Front Ensemble Instructor Anastasia Da Silva. “Despite this change, it was a season of growth and transformation, which the students handled very professionally. 

Last year’s indoor concert percussion show, entitled Collide, brought light to loud, chaotic symphonies and fast-paced tempos throughout the show. Differing from marching indoor percussion, concert indoor percussion is performed standing still, letting solely the music express the theme, bare of any choreography.

“Everyone stays still and just plays their instruments,” said senior Blake Katz. “The subject of the show is almost entirely expressed through the music.”

This year, however, another chance of rebooting marching indoor percussion was revived, and successfully so. The show exudes a light, cheerful atmosphere for those who are able to experience it. 

“People can expect a fun and casual time when they see our show,” said freshman Bryce Katz. “The show is made for the audience to enjoy it. They will see us having fun, so they will as well.”

The season starts early December and continues into late March when the ensemble performs at FFCC finals in Daytona. Throughout the season, the program competes with various high schools. The most recent competition was on Feb. 29 at Park Vista High School, with West Broward receiving a net score of 65.6 out of 100, placing 7th out of 7th place.

“Indoor is not like any other thing I have ever done,” said junior Alexander Alen. “There is definitely a family environment that comes with being in indoor percussion. Everyone, including people from other schools, is always supporting each other.”

    The show starts off with music based on the songs Sing Sing Sing by Benny Goodman, a well-known hit from the era. The show will continue to feature other pieces like Being Alive from the Broadway show Company.

    “It was really exciting when I first listened to the show,” Katz said. “The music takes you back to a time of pure joy and laughter.”

    The uniform includes the ensemble members wearing black pants, white button downs, black ties and suspenders. The dress is then topped off with a black fedora, simulating the clothes that were popular during the 1920s.

“The costumes are super simple, which I think adds to the show,” Alen said. “The clothes work really well with our theme.” 

    Members of the program are continuing to prepare for finals taking place on March 28. Although the show is not finished, it evokes a light-hearted and cheerful feeling from the audience.  What a time to be alive will bring one back to an era bravado with the revolutionary music of the 1920s. 

    “I am really looking forward to going to finals with our full show, which is the only performance we will have our full show at,” said junior Emilio Valdez. “I am excited to lay it all out there, telling everyone that we are back and ready to go again.”

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