Winter percussion plays at Southern California Percussion Alliance competition

Winter Percussion placed first in its division with a score of 88 out of 100 at a Southern California Percussion Alliance (SCPA) competition Saturday, March 16 at Colony High School.

Walnut, participating in its third competition of the school year, performed “Requiem” arranged by Jim Wunderlich with selections from Sergei Rachmaninov. The song followed a theme of remembering the dead with slow parts and fast-paced, high-tension sections.

“It’s high level music. With percussion, you have to be precise because if you miss a note, it sticks out and sounds really sloppy. I don’t have a big role in terms of flashiness,” bass guitar player sophomore Nathan Chen said. “Playing bass is fundamentally geared toward blending the sound of the whole group and balancing the music.”

Leading up to the performance, percussionists practiced making notes more pronounced during fast sections of the song and maintaining good rhythm by listening to one another’s parts.

“I felt really proud. We all showed dynamics and contrast in the music, which really expressed the theme and music well. I just kept playing my part in my head, visualising it and trying not to worry,” xylophone player sophomore Vega Shin said.

Walnut will use the criticism of five judges on different aspects of its performance to improve and refine its musical delivery, timing and visual presentation before the SCPA Championship Finals on Apr. 6.

“With any performer, you have normal mode, and then you switch to performance mode to perform the best you can at the highest level,” Chen said. “You just have a lot of adrenaline rushing, and that just feeds into the energy of the whole group.”

By Ethan Cheng, Design editor-in-chief

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