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Thursday, May 5, 2016

NHS drummers preparing to compete

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

During the Northview Indoor Percussion practice, Northview senior Shea McCoy (from left) and 7th grader Nicholas Ross play the xylophone. The students are preparing for their first competition on Feb. 18.
A lot of drumming can be heard from Northview High School after school hours lately.

The Northview Indoor Percussion group is preparing for competitions with the Indiana Percussion Association (IPA) Circuit.

The 23 students play instruments such as snare drums, tenor drums, bass drums, xylophone, bells and electric bass.

"It's basically all the standard percussion instruments can be used," Assistant Band Director Rusty Bottomley said. "Then the electric instruments such as synthesizers can be used in the rhythm section."

The IPA started as a way to challenge percussionists during the off-season.

"A lot of times during concert season some of the parts that the percussion kids have are not as challenging," Bottomley said. "This grew out of the idea that groups wanted to continue to challenge their percussionists and to get them ready for the next marching season."

The group is relatively new, according to Bottomley.

"It's one of the fastest growing youth activities in the nation," he said. "Indiana is the biggest local association. Last year, we had over 70 groups participate in IPA."

This year, the first competition is Feb. 18, at Norwell High School. Other competitions will be Feb. 25, March 3 and March 10. The preliminaries will be March 17, at Avon High School. State Finals will be March 25, at Ben Davis High School.

The Northview Indoor Percussion placed 6th at State Finals last year, and Bottomley expects to do even better this year.

"We have a lot of returning kids," he said. "We're hoping we can get up closer to the medal round, if not get into the medal round. We have a more experienced group this year. Our show will reflect that it is more challenging than it was a year ago. If we keep working hard, I think we could be competitive."

This year's show is called "Destinations," with melodies by Phillip Glass and original pieces by the group's music arranger, Brian Blume.

"The show is about destinations," Bottomley said. "Are they a place or a state of mind? Is the destination the end or the beginning of something else?"

Those helping with the show include: Blume, Visual Designer Tim Keller, Sean Widmer and A.J. Cowall helping with music and Dana Bottomley and Trevor Hanson helping with visual.

"We have a lot of good kids and a lot of parents behind us," Bottomley said. "Hopefully, we'll give the kids a good experience and be competitive as well."

For show schedules and scores, visit www.indianapercussion.org.

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