Friday, March 29, 2013

Home Stretch

We are in the home stretch with our season.  We have completed the last of our regular season NESBA shows and we are looking forward to performing at the NESBA Championships on April 7 and then the WGI World Championships in Dayton, OH on April 18-19.  

The show has gone through many changes over the past three weeks and the members have done a great job handling them.  It's not easy to continue to refine the design of the show and make changes while it's being performed, but this is the nature of the indoor season.  Often times, groups will not have their shows completed until near the end of the season.  We have been fortunate that we've been able to use our time to really refine the show until we felt it was right, and we're almost there.  We have this weekend off before NESBA Championships so we will be using this time to refine the program, continue to develop confidence and consistency, and elevate the performance and emotional level of the group.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Art Imitates Life

This past weekend was awesome! We put the "final" show changes into action. This included voice overs, music and drill changes, design elements, props, and some "hot off the press" color panels for the front of the pit instruments! It was a very exciting weekend, and now that all the parts are in place, we can polish it for finals in Dayton!
They say that art imitates life. Well, our season has certainly mirrored our show concept.  We started out strong (life) - have had some real struggles clearly communicating the concept of our show to the audience (death) - and now with these new changes in place the message is stronger than ever (new life). It had to die to come back stronger.
What a cool experience!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Whirlwind Developments

So much is going on in the world of Winter Percussion; it has been hard to keep you informed, so here is a blitz to bring everyone up to speed! 
We had a great show last weekend, but the judges are having a hard time understanding some of the concepts. It is difficult, in a 6-minute blast, to clearly communicate the importance of needing death to have life…a “Perpetual Cycle.” (Some professors might say it isn't even possible in a whole semester!) 
We are approaching this weekend with a new voice-over, and a pile of changes and additions to the show that should help clarify the message. Our performance scores are consistently strong (how well we play), and our visual scores are not far behind…our job now is to clarify the design of the show and then start to perform and enjoy every performance. If we find our stride in performance energy and clarity, the general effect judge wil be on board from the moment we take the floor. Not to mention…we will have a great time performing it, no matter what the score!
A few new exciting updates:
1) New wires made for all the front ensemble keyboards…we are now using high quality connectors and wire that will keep unwanted interference out of our speakers!
2) New side panels so that the snares are completely offstage during transitions…no more distraction for the audience!
3) New miniature racks being built for the junior WP members’ equipment!

Can’t wait for the show in Mansfield, MA this Saturday evening…we are going to rock the house!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

WGI Regionals - First Place!

The 2013 competitive season is now underway! We have performed at two NESBA shows and we just completed the WGI Trumbull, CT Regional and won our class with an 83.65.  We are very pleased with the start of the season and how the shows have been going.  The group has really stepped up in the past couple weeks and worked extremely hard to make this happen.  

The show is called "Perpetual Cycles." It was inspired by the Mayan concept of the Life Cycle: With Life, comes Death,! and Death is necessary for New Life to occur.  The show is therefore organized into three sections: 1. Life, 2. Death, 3. New Life.  An important part of this concept is that the Life Cycle is never ending.  Once death occurs, new life begins and the cycle starts again.  A simple example can be found by looking at the changing of the seasons.  In keeping with that idea, Spirit's show ends in the same manner it began and could be performed without ever stopping! 

The music for the show is heavily based on Joseph Curiale's "Adelina De Maya."  This is the main source material for the program and occurs in the opening as well as the closing production.  Also included in the program is a Brazilian "Batucada," Alberto Ginastera's "Lamentations of Jeremiah" and "Third Wind" by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays.  

Now that the WGI regional is over, we return to our local NESBA circuit for a string of shows over the next three weekends before we compete in the NESBA circuit championships on April 7 and finally at the WGI World Championships on April 18-20.  During these next three weeks, we will be implementing a series of changes to continue to strengthen the design of the show as well as simply cleaning it and making it as perfect as we can.