By: Mikey McGuire
Congratulations to all of our 2022 Independent World class finalists! View a recap of their productions below in order of Finals placement.
Pulse Percussion (98.925) 1st
Pulse took the floor with their show, “Through the Storm”. Their main props included two segmented circles that broke apart throughout the show. Their show centers around these platforms, and they also had a window on the bottom left side of the tarp that shielded the incredible vocalist from the elements. Midway through the production, the vocalist braved the storm to find her way to the other side of the tarp. The show brought together themes of braving the bad times to find the good and did so beautifully. With many different effect percussion moments, pulse was able to bring the audience with them on a journey through the storm.
Rhythm X (98.075) 2nd
X took the audience on a journey into Kurt Cobains head for their 2022 production, A Heart Shaped Box. The ensemble was revealed to be in a line of boxes placed at the back of the tarp. These boxes would move around the tarp throughout the show and reveal different paintings. Once the battery took the floor, the energy did not stop till the final hit. Each section was given a moment to shine, from snare breaks to mind-bending cymbal visuals, X came to play. As the ensemble preformed the titular Nirvana song for the closer, the energy of the show grew tenfold.
Broken City (97.888) 3rd
Broken city came to Dayton with their characteristic brand of abstract show design. Featuring 4 decrepit looking ladders on the back side of the tarp and not much else, the defending champs worked their way through a flawless musical performance. Midway through the show, a member of the cymbal lines tries to climb the ladder but fails and is left hanging for a moment before rejoining the battery. To end the show, all marching members make their way to the ladders and help each other to try and reach the top. Broken city once again showcased their unmatched cleanliness both musically and visually this year, while still leaving the meaning of the product up to the audience.
RCC (96.738) 4th
RCC took the floor, and they came to play with their 2022 show “The End is the Beginning”. They took the floor with a dozen thin pink poles and bordered the tarp with white poles. As they navigated the field of pink poles, they showcased their Stellar playing ability and gave every section a chance to shine. The musical styles of the shows shifted from heavy metal to light and airy, they all worked together to support the visual package on the floor perfectly.
Music City Mystique (95.563) 5th
McM brought us deep into Appalachia for a backyard party of a show titled “come hell or high water”. This show had all the hallmarks of Appalachian cookout, string bass, harmonica, mullets, everything you expect from a show with this theme. The performers took us on a journey and had an absolute blast doing it. Both musically and visually, we were transported to the mountains with the sounds of washboards and crickets to make us feel at home. McM put together one of the most unique and enjoyable shows to grace the floor this year.
United Percussion (94.250) 6th
United took the floor with their show “The World is Watching”. The show discussed the idea of the prevalence of cameras in today’s society the impact that it has. They did this with a camera of their own, broadcasting to four TV’s on the floor. At first, they put their bass lines eyes on the screens, then they used the cameras to film individual section breaks. The cameras were a super cool addition to the show and helped showcase a different side of the ensemble we are not used to seeing. The music side of things was no issue for the New Jersey ensemble, as they executed a masterful music book while maintaining an incredible performance quality.
Infinity (93.863) 7th
Infinity’s 2022 program details the concept of time. The main set piece is a long wooden plank that is almost constantly moving to represent the ever-moving passage of time. The plank was adored with two visual ensembles who kept it moving for most of the show. They also featured an electric violin player who ends up falling off the plank into the battery midway through the show. Infinity performed their book wonderfully and came together to put an incredible product on the floor.
Matrix (93.213) 8th
Matrix put on a show that is all about shining in your own skin and not backing down. They pose that if you are liberated from your own fears, you will then liberate others from their fears. With the bright whites of the uniform mixed with the equally bright tarp, as well as 10 spotlights shining both on the performers and into the audience, Matrix shines just as much as they urge you to. The ensemble continues to push the boundaries of the traditional WGI format with how they incorporate props and performers into multiple different roles, and this show is a prime example of that.
George Mason University (92.688) 9th
GMU played with the idea that nothing is broken forever, using the symbolism of the Japanese art of restoring pottery known as kintsugi. A vase is broken at the start of the show and by the end it is mended with gold to show what nothing is ever lost, and things can be mended to be better than they were. The new vase is presented with the voice-over “I’ve been broken but nothing is lost” restating the theme of the program. The energy coming off the floor was electric, and it was clear that the performers put their heart and soul into every note.
POW Percussion (91.738) 10th
POW took the floor with their show Wonderland, following the story of a girl who finds herself in the wacky wonderland of her imagination. The battery then takes the role as the inhabitants of this world and lead the girl through the world. The performers were very clearly enjoying their time in the world, but it all came to an end and the backdrops went from their bright blue and purple to a drab white as the girl asked herself “was that real”?
Monarch Independent (91.538) 11th
Monarch played with the concept of Star dust. Everything from the tarp and set design, to the music and performance, helped reinforce that theme. The show opened with a very sparse and spacious front ensemble feature to help set the mood, and that vibe continued throughout the whole show. The battery showcased incredible musicality throughout with the commitment to open space. Monarch succeeded in making everything on the floor look and sound like stardust.
Cap City Percussion (89.775) 12th
Cap City personifies a pack of lionesses trying to protect the pride. When the pack is threatened by a group of enemies, the visual ensemble steps in to fight for the safety of the pride. A voice-over tells the audience that no matter what, the mother will protect what is hers. The show ends with the cub (an actual 4-year-old) being threatened directly and the one of the mother lions laying down their life to protect the cub as blood is spilled. The set design in this show is beautiful, around the tarp there are 4 platforms for the lions to survey from and one massive platform in the middle. All platforms are mobile, and the middle one is used to move a guitar solo list around the floor while he shreds both electric and acoustic in the middle parts of the show.
Vigilantes Indoor Percussion (89.325) 13th
VIP tells the story of a man trying to figure out who he is in their 2022 show “Origin”. At the center of a tarp, a mysterious tomb appears and out comes a man wearing nothing but shorts. At first, he struggles to stand and walk, but he slowly finds his feet, asking himself the question of “who am I and why am I here?”. At the peak of his mental anguish, a new figure appears from the tomb; a woman. The performer shows the woman how to walk and how to live and falls in love, she is the answer to his pleads for purpose and understanding.
Rhythmic Force Percussion (87.688) 14th
Rhythmic force explores the theme of fate and prophecy. They started the show with an angelic performer holding a bow and arrow. After a heavy opening statement, the soloist came back out dressed in a brilliant dress with a fire sword. They then held the scales of fate and weighed the fate of the marching ensemble. After it was decided that they were to perish, the grim reaper appeared and a dark cloth swept over the whole ensemble, sealing their fate and fulfilling the prophecy.
Blue Knights (86.675) 15th
Blue knights broke into the floor to put the pieces together on their 2022 program “Broken”. There were many ways they achieved this theme, but most prominent were the table fragments that featured heavily. The fragments on their own were nothing more than triangles on wheels but, when put together, created a moving platform. Musically, the ensemble was also broken. The battery was broken and put themselves back together time and time again, both as a whole and individual sections. The front ensemble carried the theme as well, with sometimes spacey and off kilter rhythms to put out a feeling of brokenness.