Preview: Percussion competition at Damien High School

Percussion will compete in the Southern California Percussion Alliance (SCPA) Saturday, Feb. 2 at Damien High School.

Percussion will perform “Requiem Prelude in C-Sharp minor and G-minor” by Rachmaninoff at its first SCPA event of the season. Members are practicing a total of eight hours every week in preparation for this competition.

“I’m nervous and excited. This is my last season, so a lot is riding on this. From the way we have been practicing, I think it will go well. I don’t want to be overly optimistic and say we’ll get first or second place, but I feel that we won’t do bad,” auxiliary percussion senior Teodoro Antonio said.

Following this event, percussion will be attending competitions from February to April. Players will be judged on how the music is composed, how well their music flows together and how well they play their piece; additionally, they will be given constructive criticism from judges. The top 20 groups will compete in preliminations before moving on to semi-finals. If percussion progresses to finals, it will take place at the Citizens Business Bank Arena.

“Finals is usually a really big deal. It’s in a huge venue for small high schools such as us to perform in. It’s an honor for one high school to compete at such a big, well recognized venue. Our first time performing there [was] two years ago, and it was a life changing experience for me. Stepping onto the stage in front of hundreds of fans in a huge arena made me realize that this activity I’m involved in in is way bigger than ourselves and it’s helped elevate my passion for arts,” marimba senior Kevin Nguyen said.

SCPA was formed to help promote the growth of percussive arts through competitions, performance and educational activities. They strive to teach goodwill, good sportsmanship and camaraderie.

“SCPA has always provided such an amazing opportunity for smaller ensembles across Southern California,” Nguyen said. “It has given so many students the chance to perform like a rockstar, and it’s honestly one of the best things I’ve ever participated in.”

By Philbert Loekman, Staff writer
Photo by Isaac Le