Monday, April 22, 2013

A Great Season Comes to a Bronze End

A great season ends for SOA WP.
“Great seasons are all about the journey and not the destination.” As our unit director Ian Hale addressed us after finals on Friday night in Dayton, Ohio, this truth came as a great piece of perspective. This season has been great because of the hard work and the fun times we have shared as a team that have bound us tightly together. And our destination wasn’t too shabby! We won Bronze with a 92.8!
Yesterday evening, we were privileged to attend Percussion World Class Finals, and it was an exhilarating celebration of the sport we know and love. Father Ryan’s snare line was strapped onto wheels and spun upside down as they drummed to a standing ovation and a group from Japan called Aimachi incorporated complex and amazing guard work with drumming that looked more almost more like Cirque de Soleil than indoor drumline. If you have never seen a top Percussion Independent World Class performance it is worth the 8 minutes on YouTube to find out just how much can be achieved in this activity. We are excited and inspired to start again next season!

Here are a couple of youtube links. (Not HD show quality due to WGI copyright, but gives you a good feel) :
RCC Percussion:


Friday, April 19, 2013

Broadway World Chimes-In

Even Broadway has a piece of the action as Spirit Winter Percussion heads into Finals tonight.
They gave us a great review and shout out:
MA Youth Percussion Ensemble Qualifies for World Championship Finals 2013

They performed a great show at Prelims. Enough to earn them a score of 93.07 and a great shot at the medal podium tonight. I couldn't be prouder!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Single Focus

There is a prevalent belief these days that kids can't concentrate. Terms like ADDHD, and distractible get kicked around like a death knell on this next generation.
It's simply not true.  Give them a task (or any activity) they value and they are all about it.
We tried to give the kids some downtime - volleyball, frisbee,etc...   It lasted all of fifteen minutes before they were back at their pads with mallets/sticks in hand. They are all about the task at hand.
Talk about life lessons - Indoor Percussion is full of them!

Monday, April 15, 2013

As Good As It Gets

Finally! I can't tell you how exciting it is to wake up and realize that after weeks of dreaming and prepping and hoping for this day, it's finally here. We are in beautiful Dayton, OH. Somehow, in Dayton the grass is always greener, the sun is always warmer, the air is always cleaner, and life is just a bit brighter.

We arrived last night at a mere 11:30pm, much earlier than I anticipated and stumbled off the bus into the warm evening air at our home for the week, Athletes in Action retreat center; a Christian retreat center with a passion for athletics. A shower and a comfortable bed after 18 hours stuck on a bus can be simply awesome, just saying. I'm obviously getting a bit older because after 10 hours in a bus, it definitely starts to lose it's magic. But at least I'm with all my friends. That seems to make it more bearable.

Today we got to have a slow start which has been nice. After breakfast, we had a brief pad-out session and a run/stretch before attempting to play a round of volleyball. Needless to say, we weren't very good- but that's ok. It didn't matter.  At least WGI isn't a volleyball competition! This afternoon we will start into our last week of tweaks and repetitions and last minute changes before Prelims on Thursday, and depending on our placement, Finals on Friday!. The competition is getting so close we can start to feel it. Like a little ember in our stomachs starting to build to a flame. As a snare drummer it's so obvious how in the last week our playing has gotten so much better and stronger. The show is finally starting to feel ready, where only days ago I wasn't so sure it was ready for a world wide audience like this. 
Is it good enough? Will we play the way the show demands? I wasn't sure, but now I am. We are ready  It's time for us to step out with our message and see where we stand and let the chips fall where they may. 
As our percussion director always says, "the numbers really don't matter". In the end, that's out of our hands. What is in our hands, is the do the absolute best we can at what we do and trust the work we've done. 
It's time for Perpetual Cycles to be more than just our show. There's a story there that it's now our time to tell. We had te opportunity to mature with it and watch it grow. Sometimes so frustrated we wanted to quit - sometimes unsure wether it would ever work - sometimes so excited we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves. But now it's ready and it's time to be shared, and I can't tell you how excited I am about it! 
I don't feel all that worried anymore. We're all here together in Dayton doing what we love, with who we love. It doesn't get much better than that!

The Last Five Percent

Hey all!!!
We just came off of the most upbeat show of the season... The Dessert Auction! It's our annual show for the home crowd where we talk about the activity, auction off mouth watering desserts, and perform our show twice to give our favorite fans the best chance of taking it all in. We had a blast!!!
We started the day with our normal routine of warm ups, sectionals, and ensemble, but the whole time gearing toward our exciting evening!
To keep the show alive, coming off of tech week we must continue to be both technically and emotionally engaged at the highest level. The road to Dayton is always about consistent perfection... the last 5% is the hardest to achieve, but the most rewarding!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Road to Dayton

Had a great turn-out for our Dessert Auction/Send-Off Show last night. The kids played well, and I think the local crowd was happy to be part of the festivities. 
Now I find myself in the middle of an 18hr bus ride to Dayton for the Nationals. It has become apparent to me that a long bus trip means something entirely different to a teenager than it does to me at 50!  The perspective of the two ten-year-olds behind me makes me feel both energized and old at the same time. “When are we gonna get there?!” seems to be their most pressing concern - I’m just glad to have the opportunity to do nothing. But being around youth keeps me young - Thank God. We should pull in around midnight and start in to all the rehearsing, prepping, and tweaking on Monday. In the meantime I have 7 more hours of “nothing” to look forward to before the games begin.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dartmouth Finals

Wow what a weekend! We are in the chute for Dayton and competition is fierce. Last
night was NESBA finales and we had a great show, definitely our best yet! The energy
felt awesome and a lot of the work we had done over the weekend displayed itself. We
won with a score of 91.8! Is the work over? Are we done? NO way. We won’t sniff
complacency, and we are going to push it out until the end. Some of the rehearsals this
year have been tough, but many people have said to us, “the hard days are the days
you’ll remember, and they make the good moments really great.” Last night was a great
moment, and as we cherish these last days and shows together, we’re going to knock em
dead. Dayton, look out!!!