Local percussion teams rank high at state finals

By: Eric Czarnik | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published April 13, 2012

 Erik Mexicotte, 17, pounds a bass drum at Walled Lake Central High School while practicing as a member of Walled Lake’s percussion team. Walled Lake’s Scholastic World Line team scored first, while its Scholastic A Line squad scored fourth at a state finals April 1.

Erik Mexicotte, 17, pounds a bass drum at Walled Lake Central High School while practicing as a member of Walled Lake’s percussion team. Walled Lake’s Scholastic World Line team scored first, while its Scholastic A Line squad scored fourth at a state finals April 1.

Photo by Donna Agusti

Advertisement

WALLED LAKE — Walled Lake Consolidated Schools drummers and musicians proved they were nobody’s fool April 1, when they took the top score in the Scholastic World Line Division of a statewide band contest.

The Walled Lake World Line percussion team finished first in its division at the Michigan Color Guard Circuit Percussion Championships on April Fool’s Day at Saginaw Valley State University in Kochville Township. The team comprises students from the Walled Lake Consolidated School District’s three high schools.

After being judged on their musical talents and visual presence, the Walled Lake squad earned a score of 92.08. The West Bloomfield High School winter drum line — the division’s only other listed competitor — took second with 90.23.

In addition, Walled Lake’s Scholastic A-Line percussion team scored fourth out of 10 teams statewide in its class with an 81.05 score.

Drum line director Nick Pourcho praised Walled Lake’s World Line for shattering expectations during its routine, “Shattered Perspective.”

“The goal of winning was cool, but that’s more of an added bonus as opposed to having a great performance,” he said.

Pourcho explained that “Shattered Perspective” tweaked the conventions of a typical drum line performance. He said the team decorated its uniforms, instruments and the floor with shattered objects, such as mirrors. They also had the front ensemble move throughout the performance instead of standing still, he said.

“They’re normally stationed in the front,” he said. “We changed that around.”

According to West Bloomfield High School band director Chad Mielens, drum line organizers were very pleased with the school’s score, and a blog post on the team’s website called it “the highest score ever in the many years of competing.”

Mielens agreed that the ranking is quite an accomplishment. “It is a very big deal to break 90,” he said. “I think the kids worked really, really hard. We got nothing but positive reviews from people who were there.”

Arthur Ebert, assistant principal of West Bloomfield High School, said the marchers and musicians performed their 2012 competition musical program, which is called “Stuck.”

During the presentation, drummers marched while an ensemble played xylophones, marimbas, synthesizers and other instruments. The team also performed choreography in synch with the music and beat.

“They’ll do movements that show, like, they’re stuck to the ground and try to get themselves unstuck, and the music works around that choreography,” Ebert said.

The school’s winter drum line will next go to the Winter Guard International World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, later in April, when it will reprise its performance of “Stuck.”

Ebert, a former band director at West Bloomfield High School and Abbott Middle School, explained that the biggest benefit of competing is the experience that the students have in the process.

“The practice schedule is very much like a varsity sport,” he said. “They put in an equal amount of time.”

To learn more, visit www.wlcbands.com, www.wbbands.info or www.mcgc.net.

Advertisement