Dayton Percussion Regional Review

February 28, 2011
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By Tom Racic

Scholastic Marching A

New Philadelphia HS- (New Philadelphia, OH)(1st 87.0)
In this year’s show “Off the Chain,” New Philadelphia High School used the simple idea of chains to great effect. Chains were used as interesting timbres on the drums and props, as well as links to connect the performers. Excellent two and four-mallet playing from an energetic front ensemble contrasted nicely with well-executed battery interplay.

Kettering Fairmont HS- (Kettering, OH)(2nd 84.55)
Kettering Fairmont’s 2011 show is entitled “A Stone’s Throw.” Set on a craggy backdrop, it’s an aggressive production with primal grooves and great drill moments. Stones were cast about and even used as playing implements in a very well-performed show.

Lebanon HS- (Lebanon, OH)(3rd 83.8)
A protective protagonist played a game of keep-away with a giant red ball in Lebanon High School’s show “What Goes Around.” The marching members kept him on the run around a meandering red line traced around the floor.

Amherst Steele HS- (Amherst, OH)(4th 81.5)
After the Amherst Steele front ensemble helped us boot up, we were taken into “The Machine.” The show was full of great visual moments and exiting playing. Arguably the coolest part of the production was when the group constructed a machine that the battery used to play a great feature, filled with hand-over-hand playing and slick visuals.

Decatur HS- (Indianapolis, IN)(5th 81.275)
Decatur High School reminds us that everyone can feel “The Weight of the World” pressing down upon them. After a stress-filled opener with some great pit and battery moments, the second production soothed the tension in an oddly relaxing 5/4 time.

Thomas Worthington HS- (Worthington, OH)(6th 80.175)
We were taken “Up in the Night Sky” with Thomas Worthington’s 2011 show. An eye-catching tarp brought the audience into the purple-hued clouds so they could see and hear a transition from the soothing sounds of night to the brisk and exciting daybreak.

Turpin HS- (Cincinnati, OH)(7th 79.0)
Turpin started off the night showing us how life is all about taking “The Next Step.” The concept was clearly illustrated with the help of the “steps” that the battery traversed on their floor. This exciting performance was punctuated by some great solo snare moments.

North Allegheny HS- (Wexford, PA)(8th 78.95)
North Allegheny gave us a show full of broken glass, broken hearts, and a few broken drummers. Not to worry- North Allegheny put it all back together with some great ensemble moments and a bright red costume change that helped invigorate the end of the show.

Bellbrook HS- (Bellbrook, OH)(9th 76.9)
Bellbrook opened their show “Distorted” with a gritty guitar opening that has the battery covering their ears. But that’s not the only way Bellbrook explores the theme. Familiar classical themes are transformed into head-banging guitar riffs and cool grooves throughout their show. They also use foil mirrored props that transmogrified the performers during an exciting battery finale.

Independent Marching A

Three Rivers Indoor Percussion- (Pittsburgh, PA)(1st 74.35)
Three Rivers 2011 show is called “What’s the Buzz?” The hyped-up snare line introduces us to a cool groove that eventually incorporates playing with coffee mugs in the left hand. But coffee isn’t the only thing “buzzing” in this show after bees from Rimsky- Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee start harassing the battery. The caffeine kick never lasted for long, but Three Rivers always found a way to kick-start the show.

Notre Dame Indoor Percussion- (South Euclid, OH)(2nd 71.5)
Notre Dame’s presented their show, “Mood Ring.” They use a warm color scheme and a variety of beat patterns to help convey their emotions throughout an engaging show. Each section had a chance to change our moods with a number of feature moments.

Shockwave- Findlay, OH)(3rd 66.45)
In a show that began with caped do-gooders soaring around the arena floor, Shockwave presented their take on “Heroes.” The young ensemble had a fun, engaging take on the ups and downs of our favorite champions of justice.

Scholastic Concert Open

Miamisburg HS- (Miamisburg, OH)(1st 71.1)
Miamisburg High School made their Concert Class debut with their show “Widowmaker.” With great opportunities to showcase individuals and full ensemble playing, the show is a fine start to a Concert Class career.

Scholastic Marching Open

Kings HS- (Kings Mills, OH)(1st 83.6)
Kings High School presents “Painted Black.” The battery shares the floor with many black-painted human cutouts that give the “subversives” many places to hide. The front ensemble quoted the famous Rolling Stones chart-topper Paint It, Black with powerful punctuation by the battery. The recognizable theme was given a variety of treatments in the course of this dark and mysterious program.

Mason HS- (Mason, OH)(2nd 74.5)
Mason High School kicked off the Scholastic Open class with “Reach.” Setting a scene with members garbed in red and black struggled to latch on to each other, Mason extended themselves in a variety of physical and musical ways during the course of a catchy show.

Independent Marching Open

Tates Creek Indoor Ensemble- (Lexington, KY)(1st 86.7)
Tates Creek comes to us from Lexington, KY to perform “The Guardians.” The battery is awoken after a curious youth steals a powerful artifact. He might not regret waking up these guardians if it means he gets to watch them perform such an invigorating show. Tates Creek kept the audience engaged with an exciting visual package and solid execution.

Pioneer Indoor- (Romeoville, IL)(2nd 83.55)
The Illinois-based Pioneer Indoor presented their 2011 show “Dark and Twisted.” A black-clad Pioneer pulls off a shadowy performance full of eerie sound effects and powerful moments. In the second half of the show a solo dancer embodies the misshapen title with some pretzel-like dance moves.

Farmington United Percussion- (Farmington Hills, MI)(3rd 78.55)
Telling the story of the fabled city submerged in the ocean depths, Farmington United presented “Atlantis.” Tribal rhythms permeate the show and the ensemble takes the audience through a number of primitive ceremonies- including a dramatic ascent to the top of a totem.

Scholastic Marching World

Centerville HS- (Centerville, OH)(85.15)
Though the only competitor tonight in Scholastic World, Centerville wanted to show us with “TurnAbout” that it deserved to be in a class of its own. Utilizing the very latest in Lazy Susan technology, the battery spins on a number of pre-set discs at pivotal moments while playing some complex licks. Dizzying drill had the performers spinning throughout this topsy-turvy show.

Independent Marching World

Rhythm X- (Columbus, OH)(1st 86.55)
Rhythm X delivered a winning performance with “Stand by Me.” Besides some interesting reimagining of the R&B classic of the same name, the snare line experiments with different timbres throughout the show by using four different sets of snares- each with a different type of drum head. It was an impressive, pulse-pounding performance from top to bottom.

United Percussion- (Camden County, NJ)(2nd 83.95)
United came from New Jersey to present “Behold… the Pathway to Greatness.” Using great sound samples from great moments and great speakers United shows us that it takes guts and determination to accomplish grand things. There were plenty of opportunities to display excellence in many section features.

Redline- (Canton, MI)(3rd 83.85)
Redline dons deep black cowls and burnished golden masks to attack the audience with sound at the top of their 2011 show, “Empire.” The ensemble gradually transitions to brighter attire to top off a show filled with exciting movement and furious drumming.

Matrix- (Akron, OH)(4th 80.85)
Matrix’s 2011 show is entitled “Manipulated.” Femme fatales played by visual members of the ensemble played a number of roles throughout the show and interacted in unpredictable ways with the drum line. Matrix gives us a look into the darker side of male/female dynamics with a powerful show.

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