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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Percussionists preparing for competition season

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Northview Indoor Drumline senior members (from left) Kyle Hughes and Lauren Reberger practice the group's 2010 show. Jason Moon Photo. [Order this photo]
For 10 years, percussionists in the Northview High School band program have had their own outlet to "bang on the drums all day," throughout the winter.

The Northview Indoor Percussion squad is prepping for the upcoming season, which begins Feb. 6. The season culminates March 20 with state finals. The group competes in the Indiana Percussion Association (IPA), which according to director Rusty Bottomley, is the largest percussion circuit in the world and consists of 65 high schools and independent percussion groups.

"IPA requires that a group must participate in three shows, one being state prelims at Avon March 13, to qualify for eligibility for state finals," Bottomley said.

This year, the group will perform in only four contests due to "financial constraints," Bottomley said.

"The cost of transportation makes planning your season increasingly challenging to get your group out performing enough without exceeding budget plans," he said.

Former Northview Assistant Band Director Pete Kikta launched the program in 2000. For four years, the group took part in the concert class, placing as high as third in two of those campaigns.

In 2007, Bottomley said participation in the IPA was "revived" and the group changed from concert class to movement class.

In its first season of movement class, 2007, Northview won the IPA Class A State Championship, with a show called "Abovo," an original composition by staffer Brian Blume.

In 2008, the group moved to Open Class and finished as state runner-up with a show called "Picture Perfect," featuring music from Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures At An Exhibition," and arranged by Blume.

The group did not compete last year.

This year, Bottomley said the group's show is based on music by Claude Debussy, including portions of "Deux Arabesques," "Clair de Lune," from "Suite bergamasque," "Mouvement," from "Images," and "Dr. Gradus ad Parnassum," from "Children's Corner."

"The show is called 'Grow,'" Bottomley said. "It is not a literal interpretation of things that grow, but we use some imagery of plants on the tarp and on our uniforms."

"It represents more the personal growth our performers achieve throughout the course of the season."

Bottomley said the show features performers switching instruments throughout its entirety, something he called "unique."

"We hope that it will set us apart from the other groups we compete with and, in turn, helps the activity to grow," Bottomley said.

Instruments used by the group include snare drums, tenor drums and bass drums, along with pit instruments, featuring the marimba, xylophone, vibraphone, bells, and drum sets.

"Groups may also use some electronic instruments like synthesizers and electric bass and guitar," Bottomley said. "Computer technology has expanded the possibilities with electronic instruments and arrangers and designers are getting increasingly creative with the use of technology."

Members of the 2010 unit include Lexi Barnett, Hallie Harbison, Kyle Hughes, Kody Jones, Danielle King, Conrad Koehler, Brian McCluskey, Shea McCoy, Dan Reberger, Lauren Reberger, Shadd Revalee, Brandon Rothrock, Ethan Sands, Shelby Sands, Kali Watler, Aubrey Welton, Seth Whitaker, Lindsay Wools and Traci Wyndham.

In addition to Bottomley and Blume, staff members include Tim Keller, Dana Bottomley and Trevor Hanson.

Bottomley said the group will conduct a Drum-a-thon fundraising event Saturday, Feb. 20, from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. During the event, students will take pledges for hours of rehearsal. They will also be competing against each other to see who can raise the most money.

No location has been set for the event yet.

Competition Schedule

The following is the upcoming schedule for the Northview Indoor Percussion unit:

* Feb. 13 -- At Decatur Central High School,

* Feb. 27 -- At New Palestine High School,

* March 13 -- At Avon High School (State Preliminaries), and

* March 20 -- At Ben Davis High School (State Finals).

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