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A Chaotic Day at Prelims

This past week has certainly been a busy one for the members of Indoor Percussion! There was a lot of work to do to polish the drill and get the show ready for their performance at Prelims. The students worked at adding visuals and fixing areas that needed addressed. Cody, as per usual, had more set pieces and ideas that he wanted to add to the show (he does have some genius creativity and awesome ideas!), which meant more nights of hustling to build his creations for the pit crew. In addition to the typical busyness that comes from the week before Prelims, one-third of the group was also in the band for the school’s musical, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. The musical was performed on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, with practices every evening for the last two weeks in addition to the typical winter percussion practices. Last week’s practices for the musical ran later, so these kids were exhausted by the time they got to Saturday morning!

On Saturday morning, winter percussion had an early morning arrival with a 6:30am rehearsal. After rehearsal and getting equipment ready to load onto trailers, the kids had a pancake and sausage breakfast. Next, they boarded the bus and made the 1.5 hour drive to Pendleton Heights High School. For some reason, there were lots of little fires to put out (almost quite literally!) throughout the morning, and the day felt very chaotic. Several people mentioned that the day just felt like Regionals from marching band this last season (chaotic and messy with some disappointing results). As we were lined up in the holding area, one member noted some smoke coming from one of the carts. There was some confusion about a curtain being placed on top of a battery, but they got it sorted out and avoided a fire. Several of us on pit crew noticed that some of the carts smelled hot. Travel is often not kind to the set pieces, so paint is now brought with us to repaint pieces and fix problems in the holding area. Battery packs were missing and not charged, requiring some last-minute creative problem solving. The students went off to warm-ups and sounded really good. Then it was time to head to the gym to perform…

A group picture before competition

Great picture of these awesome kids!

This picture shows off their real personalities. They have so much fun together!

A quick pep talk from Cody


Brendan and Joe REALLY got into the head banging this week.

As we were lined up in the hallway outside the gym and as we got closer to the entrance doors, we started to turn on the switches to the carts to start to get them raised up (only partly, as they do not fit through most doors if they were raised all the way, as they are nearly 10 feet tall!). To fully raise the panels, it takes about 1.5 minutes per panel, so we start what we can as soon as we can. This week, as they started to raise the panel on the cart that had smoked earlier, it was quickly realized that the switch had burned up and the panel would not raise. There was some panic about what to do, and two dads quickly hurried to problem solve. They had to disengage the motor and actuator so the panel could be lifted manually. However, these panels are very heavy and do NOT lock into place. No adult is allowed to remain on the floor, so the only option would be for the one student with a broken elbow to hold the panel, and that was not going to be an option. Quick thinking led the two fathers to break a piece of extra PVC piping to wedge into place AS WE TOOK THE FLOOR in order to (hopefully) support the panel, and the curtains in turn. Lots of prayers were answered, and the panel stayed up and supported the curtain for the duration of the show. Whew!

Jeff and Jason were hustling to figure out some way to get the panel to stay upright. They worked awesomely together to get it figured out with the tools and extra parts they had on the carts. They somehow managed to pull it off! Yikes! It was an intense several minutes!

The students took the floor with a little extra time to spare, and they did an excellent job during their performance. There were some technical problems once again, but they did a fantastic job and were proud of their performance! Spirits were high!

After the performance, the students changed while the trailers were reloaded. They ate a dinner of slider sandwiches, chips, and fruit before returning to the gym to watch other performances. They had fun in the stands with their friends dancing to songs such as “Macarena” and “The Cha Cha Slide”… well… almost. It was unceremoniously cut off as it began, much to the disappointment of many of the students. Time for awards!

As the Participation Awards were presented, most of the students and parents were shocked to hear Woodlan’s name called. They all felt that their performance deserved a much higher ranking, especially after coming in 1st place last week. It was definitely a shock to their systems! (Regionals, is this you all over again?). There was a massive sigh of relief then when Woodlan was announced as one of the State Finalists. Whew!!!! The rankings for our class, PSB were (* denotes State Finalist):

  1. Northeastern Indoor Percussion *

  2. Whiteland Indoor Percussion *

  3. Star System Percussion *

  4. New Prairie High School *

  5. Washington Indoor Percussion *

  6. Hamilton Heights Indoor Percussion *

  7. East Noble Winter Knights *

  8. Woodlan Indoor Percussion *

  9. Scottsburg High School Winter Percussion *

  10. Fairfield Indoor Percussion *

  11. Norwell Winter Percussion *

  12. Eastside Indoor

  13. Springs Valley Percussion Ensemble

  14. Monroe Central Golden Bear Percussion Ensemble

  15. Kokomo Indoor Percussion Ensemble

After the exhausting, chaotic week, there was a great sense of relief to be fortunate enough to move on to state finals next week. This week in practice, the students will work hard to fix mistakes and perfect their show. Set pieces will again be fixed and reworked, and plans will be made to celebrate these awesome, hard-working kids.

On to State Finals! Woodlan Indoor Percussion will be performing next Saturday, March 19th, at 7:37pm at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana. They will be performing 4th in their class (PSB), with the first group performing at 7:10pm and awards at 9:15pm. (**NOTE, Cody was in a hurry. Do not go to Pendleton Heights - go to Center Grove High School in Greenwood!)

But first! Please come out this Friday evening, March 18th, at 6pm to support these students and their March for Mental Health. Proceeds will benefit Woodlan Indoor Percussion and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Afterwards, please come enjoy a free community performance at 8pm and help cheer these kids on to State Finals on Saturday! Your support means the world to them! They have worked SO hard this season and have an amazing show to share with the community! We hope you can join us!

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