Percussion show at UHS a booming success

With crashing cymbals, clanging gongs and booming bass drums, the Unionville High gymnasium maintained high-decibel excitement for most of Saturday, March 12.

Members of
Members of the Unionville indoor drumline ensemble perform 'Leave Your Mark.'

The occasion was the Winter Guard International (WGI) Percussion “Sport of the Arts” show, an all-day spectacle that attracted about 900 performers from four states, including Unionville’s indoor percussion ensemble, as well as hundreds of spectators.

More than 30 different groups assembled to compete in preliminary rounds, and program themes ranged from adventures in outer space to the rise of a superhero, even the creation of Frankenstein’s monster. Twenty-four groups advanced to the finals in six categories.

 Unionville placed sixth in the preliminary round with a score of 83.95 and advanced with 12 other schools within the Scholastic A Marching Division. The students were judged on marching and concert criteria, including areas such as creativity, expression, performance quality, and technical excellence. Victor High School in New York took first place with a score of 89, Perkiomen Valley High School in Collegeville snagged second with 87.05, and Unionville came in seventh, logging a score of 81.75.

Unionville performed its program, “Leave Your Mark,” to resounding applause. Conceived by Ensemble Director Cody Stafford, Unionville’s show was led by senior captain Trevor Seidel. Will Stephenson did the music design and composition, and Richard Kearns added the visual design.

According to Unionville High Band Director Scott Litzenberg, holding the regionals at Unionville was no easy task, but the volunteers, a massive group of parents, student musicians, and friends and relatives of the students, handled the chaos adeptly.

“This is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the band parents,” Litzenberg noted. “We have kids and parents volunteering alike to make all of this come together.”

For the first time in its four-year history, Unionville’s ensemble qualified to perform in the world championship in Dayton, Ohio, next month. On Feb. 27, the Unionville High School Indoor Percussion Ensemble won the Mid-Atlantic Percussion Society show at Perkiomen Valley High School, finishing first out of the 13 units in its division.

“Today's regional gave us a great indicator of where we stand and what we need to do moving forward,” said Stafford. “Our placement today will put us in a good position going into World Championships. With the great feedback we got today from top-caliber judges and four weeks left to improve, I am confident this group will rise to the occasion and be very successful in Dayton.”

Stafford expressed great pride in his team. “This year’s group of kids is great,” he said, “They are hard-working and dedicated to improving as musicians and making this group as successful as possible… The amount of growth in such a short period is amazing.”


About Morgan Carter

Morgan Carter is a creative writing student interning with Chadds Ford Live. She loves tea, long walks on beaches, and baking – provided there is a recipe on the back of the box. She lives in Chadds Ford with her parents, three siblings, and two spunky parakeets. Morgan is very excited to be a part of the Chadds Ford Live team, and hopes to pursue a career in writing after graduating from college.

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