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spring 2016

f ocus


the official news of wgi sport of the arts




You Gotta

Have Heart!

Tarpon Springs Takes the Big Apple—and the Gold

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f ocus


Pride of Cincinnati (IW)

the official news of wgi sport of the arts

SPRING 2016 Volume 29, Issue 1

Winter Guard International RON NANKERVIS Executive Director BART WOODLEY Director of Operations IRVING LOPEZ Marketing & Communications Manager Published By: In Tune Partners, LLC IRWIN KORNFELD CEO WILL EDWARDS President MAC RANDALL Editor-in-Chief JACKIE JORDAN Creative Director MICHAEL R. VELLA Production Manager BARBARA BOUGHTON Business Manager

2016 WGI


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Michael Boo Hannah Corson Ashley Duross Michael Reed

Pride of Cincinnati narrowly clinched the IW title, while Tarpon Springs HS won its second SW gold. Also taking top honors were Juxtaposition (IO), Shenendehowa HS (SO), Paramount A Winterguard (IA), and Bellevue West HS (SA).

PHOTOGRAPHY Adam Alonzo Bill Grossman Lifetouch Photography Linda Unser Sid Unser

Pulse Percussion (PIW), Ayala HS (PSW), Vigilantes Indoor Percussion (PIO), Sparkman HS (PSO), STRYKE Percussion 2 (PIA), Victor J. Andrew HS (PSA), Ayala HS (PSCW), and Dakota Ridge HS (PSCO) all won big.

WGI FOCUS is an educational publication of WGI Sport of the Arts. It is published every Spring and has a circulation of 16,000 copies. To subscribe, visit For advertising information or to submit an article for consideration, please email:




The amazing rise of Tarpon Springs HS ... Sonya Tayeh’s “Day After” clinic ... What people were tweeting at the World Championships ... Neil Larrivee enters the WGI Hall of Fame ... In memoriam: Lynn Lindstrom ... and more!

50 SCHOLARSHIPS Our performers’ honor roll for 2016 Pulse Percussion (PIW)


In its official WGI Winds debut, Aimachi (WIW) came up golden, along with Avon HS (WSW), STRYKE Wynds (WIO), Cleveland HS (WSO), FIU Independent A Winds (WIA), and Jackson County Comprehensive HS (WSA).



WINTER GUARD INTERNATIONAL 2405 Crosspointe Drive Dayton, OH 45342 937-247-5919


30 Aimachi (WIW)


e n s emb l e



“NY2,” 2016

Broadway Playbill flags, stunningly precise choreography, live musicians, and a moving (literally) recreation of an MTA subway car that opened up to reveal a phalanx of rifle tossers—all these things and more made Tarpon Springs High School’s “NY2” a highlight of the 2016 WGI Color Guard World Championships. This bold ensemble from Florida’s west coast can now add a “THE second Scholastic World Gold FARMER,” 2014 Medal to the one it earned in 2014 for “The Farmer.” And since the guard traditionally only competes in Dayton every other year, you could argue that this is its second consecutive gold. Clearly, Tarpon Springs has arrived in a big way. Like nearly all overnight successes, however, this one has actually taken years to accomplish. Jeannine Ford, the guard’s director for the past two decades, acknowledges that there’s been a “paradigm shift” at Tarpon Springs in recent times. “As part of each student’s curriculum,” she explains, “we now have a freshman leadership course that focuses on building a strong foundation and that helps develop what we refer to as ‘the total child.’ We try to incorporate the knowledge of having a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset, and how

it’s simply being able to see yourself achieve the skill that makes the mind believe you can truly achieve it. We also started a middle school color guard program in 2010 and that has contributed tremendously. We are excited to see a continuous growth in both the middle school and high school programs.” The initial inspiration for “NY2” came from choreographer Michael Shapiro, and Ford gives him special credit for “inspiring us to push the boundaries of what is comfortable. I have to admit early on it was scary. The students would come to rehearsal wearing their biking helmets and knee pads and it felt like every time they learned something new we were having to start all over again.” But the results were well worth the hard labor. “When the last note was played,” Ford says, “and it echoed through the arena, the students all had tears in their eyes. They knew they had accomplished something beyond words.”

IN MEMORIAM: LYNN LINDSTROM 1939-2016 The World Class Retreat of the Color Guard Finals, normally a time of excitement and anticipation, briefl y took on a more somber tone this year. Everyone in the UD Arena observed a moment of silence, followed by a memorial video honoring Winter Guard International founder and former Executive Director Lynn Lind-

strom, who lost her long battle with cancer on January 27 at the age of 76. Lynn’s passion for pageantry began in her youth as a color guard member and continued through her days as a Colorado guard “den mother” and, later, Commander of the Midwest Color Guard Circuit. In 1977, Lynn was one

of six people present for Winter Guard International’s foundation meeting in San Francisco. She was named the organization’s first Executive Director, and held that post for the next 24 years. Until her retirement in 2001, Lynn presided over an activity that grew by leaps and bounds, from 34

participating guards in the 1978 championships to more than 300 in the final year of her directorship. She also helped spearhead WGI’s expansion into percussion and marching band competitions. It’s fair to say that WGI wouldn’t exist without Lynn Lindstrom. As long as it does, her legacy will always be treasured.


e n s emb l e WGI HALL OF FAME WELCOMES NEIL LARRIVEE On April 13, just before the start of the 2016 Percussion World Championships in Dayton, the WGI Hall of Fame inducted its 59th member, whose contributions to the percussive realm have been tremendous. These days, Neil Larrivee is best known as the Director of Education and Product Development for the Vic Firth Company, as well as a clinician and competition judge. But his connection to WGI is far deeper than that, going back more than 20 years. In the mid-1990s, Larrivee looked at the marching band program he’d helped lead to unprecedented success over a decade at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, Mass., and decided that it needed something new: an indoor component. By 1995, King Philip had fielded its first indoor percussion ensemble. The group debuted at WGI in 1996 and quickly established itself as a major force, winning Scholastic World silver medals in 1997 and 1998, a gold medal in 2000, and another silver in 2001—the same year that the King Philip Scholastic Concert World ensemble also achieved silver status. Larrivee departed King Philip in 2002 to become pit arranger for Dartmouth High School, where he continued to further his reputation for musical excellence. During his time at Dartmouth, its indoor percussion ensemble took home WGI Scholastic World medals for six straight champion-


VIA TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM @abr_zap: “I love this, and I have no words for everything that I have seen. It’s all amazing.”


ship seasons: bronze in 2004 and 2005, silver in 2006 and 2007, and two consecutive golds in 2008 and 2009. Between 1997 and 2002, Larrivee was a member of the WGI Percussion Advisory Board and Steering Committee, leaving his mark on the activity as it continued to expand. He has also served as pit director for the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in Allentown, Pa., helping its members win four DCI World Championships. Fellow Hall of Fame member and Blessed Sacrament director Ed Devlin says, “Neil’s best strength is his passion for the activity and any project that he becomes involved in.” And Larrivee’s former colleague at King Philip, Peter Tileston—who directed the school’s music program for 27 years—adds, “Simply put, Neil Larrivee will not leave a stone unturned in his quest to be the best at what he does.”

AN EXCELLENT “DAY AFTER” WITH SONYA TAYEH Contemporary choreographer Sonya Tayeh, a regular on So You Think You Can Dance, is no stranger to Dayton; in 2010, she ran the WGI “Day After” clinic, TAYEH traditionally held the day after Color Guard Finals. This year, she was back at UD Arena for a followup, leading guard members through a challenging master dance class on April 10. Conversion Independent’s Hannah Corson was on the floor that Sunday, and she reports that Tayeh’s choreography was “reflective of her signature ‘combat jazz’ style… fast, technical, and extremely fun. Her encouraging words and detail-oriented teaching style gave each student the tools to excel.”


@Aloha_Dude: “Pulse Percussion’s cymbal feature was the single most beautiful thing I have ever seen or heard in my entire life.” @bhink439: “What a great season. I’m so glad we are fortunate enough to have such fantastic instructors.” @r8escjohn: “Aimachi is the new gold perfection standard in Winds!! Wow that show was beyond incredible :-)” Gianna Korber (Instagram): “Regardless of placement I wouldn’t trade this team or experience for anything. I couldn’t be more thankful for the people by my side every waking minute helping me through it. #leightongoestodayton #tswg” @c_hietala: “Got the best cleaning crew in the world. #wgi2016 #worldchampionsweep” @ashleynericksen: “#wgi2016 was so worth missing prom this year”

THE BEST PLAY ZILDJIAN Altitude Percussion Avon HS Ayala HS Blue Knights Cadets Winter Percussion Capital City Percussion Cavaliers Indoor Percussion Center Grove HS Chattahoochee HS Chino Hills HS Civitas Independent Clinton HS Clovis HS Dark Sky Percussion Dartmouth HS Dennis-Yarmouth HS Dorman HS Downingtown West HS Fair Lawn HS Farmington United Percussion Ensemble Freedom Percussion George Mason University Hatboro-Horsham HS Infinity Infinity 2 Infinity 3 Kamiak HS Kings HS Legacy Indoor Percussion Longmont HS Mansfield HS Matrix Matrix Open Percussion Ensemble

Mechanicsburg HS Music City Mystique Norwalk HS OC Indoor Paradigm Percussion Pearl HS Pioneer Pionee Indoor Plymouth Canton Community Schools POW Percussion Pulse Percussion RCC Redline REEF Independent Revelation Rhythmic Force Percussion Saints Percussion Shadow Indoor Percussion South County HS Southgate Anderson HS Spirit Winter Percussion STRYKE Percussion ST STRYKE Percussion 2 Team Percussion USA Thomas Jefferson HS Trumbull HS Tunstall HS Unionville HS United Percussion Valley Independent Percussion Vegas Vanguard Victor J. Andrew HS Walled Lake Central HS Westhill HS Woodbridge HS

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WGI Color Guard World Championships Pride of Cincinnati (IW)

Spring Fever in


Pride of Cincinnati, Tarpon Springs HS earn gold in dramatic Finals


hat a difference 365 days make! Last year’s WGI Color Guard World Championships were blessed by warm, sunny weather; for 2016’s edition, light snow blanketed the ground on the morning of Finals. But the action on the floor was still sweltering, and there was more of it than ever. The number of Finalists this year expanded by one third to 119, in order to accommodate increasing entries and provide additional performance opportunities to a greater number of guards. For the first time, Finals were held at multiple locations, with A Class Finals occurring at the Nutter Center while Open Class Finals took place simultaneously across town inside UD Arena. The many placement changes between Prelims, Semi-Finals, and Finals ensured that there was no shortage of drama. Santa Clara Vanguard’s razor-thin margin over Pride of Cincinnati in the first two performances vanished by a few tenths in Independent World Finals. A Semi-Finals tie in Independent Open was resolved as Juxtaposition edged the Pacificaires, with Lexis nipping at their heels as the top three guards were separated by a scant 0.35. The other class winners maintained their leads throughout the weekend, but the order shuffled underneath as numerous guards jumped a few spots in the final order. Trends for this season included an increased use of props that were integral components of the productions, along with a higher level of sophistication in staging and choreography by the designers. And the fans came in droves, as Saturday evening’s World Class Finals smashed previous attendance records.

Independent World

Pride of Cincinnati (Ohio) captured its fifth Gold Medal with “WANDERLUST.” On a starry floor bedecked with rotating compass-point props, the guard dazzled us with an arsenal of meteoric tosses seemingly high enough to fly into orbit. 16 wgi focus

Tarpon Springs HS (SW)

By Michael Reed and Ashley Duross Juxtaposition (IO)

Paramount A Winterguard (IA)

Bellevue West HS (SA)



Shenendehowa HS (SO) WGI FOCUS 17

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WGI Color Guard World Championships

Defending champs Santa Clara Vanguard (Calif.) just missed repeating and took home a Silver Medal with “Rumble, Unravel, Rise.” The group gradually moved from back to front as the original soundtrack kept on ascending. Bronze Medalist Onyx (Ohio) is synonymous with creative movement, and its “I, Will” was both cerebral and accessible, setting rock-solid equipment work to the timeless music of Rachmaninoff. Blessed Sacrament (Mass.) performed “Cymbal-ism” with an impressive assortment of crash and suspended cymbals in its 37th straight Finals appearance. Rocketing into the top five, Paramount (Ga.) segmented its membership into thirds, with different colors and equipment for each, in “The Rule of Three.” Imbue (Calif.) used large white rectangular frames that could be doors, giant device screens, or whatever the viewer wanted them to be in “See It Through.” The all-male cast of Diamante (Calif.) took on the weighty burden of leadership during a stressful era of American history in the poignant “John F. Kennedy.” Mayflower (U.K.) flew the friendly skies in “Excess Baggage,” with airport imagery including luggage, passports, and a flight arrival board in the flag design. For “Seated,” the members of Alter Ego (Conn.) sat, stood, and spun on white stools in an Santa Clara Vanguard (IW)

Onyx (IW)

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ever-shifting myriad of permutations. In “‘Bull’ero,” Black Gold (Texas) became a herd of bulls “mooving” to the driving rhythms of Ravel. Fantasia (Calif.) conveyed the experience of gazing at the sky on a warm summer evening with their captivating program “A Night Under the Blue Moon.” FeniX Independent (Ariz.) were high-wire artists in “Walking on Air,” as a pole connecting tall buildings on their tarp reminded us of the Flying Wallendas. With “Elevation,” UCF Pegasus World (Fla.) imagined the years of sights an old hotel elevator might recall as it passed from floor to floor. Emanon (N.J.) presented a flood of memories in a stream-of-consciousness manner to a hypnotic soundtrack in “THIS PLACE.” Cypress Independent (Texas) explored the gamut of verbal communication, from intimate words to difficult heart-tohearts, in “Conversations.”

Scholastic World

Gold Medalist Tarpon Springs HS (Fla.) earned the crown with the vibrant “NY2.” The guard captured the essence of the Big Apple with street musicians, subway cars, Broadway playbill silks, and wads of cash littering the ground. Moving up three places from Semi-Finals, Silver Medalist Avon HS (Ind.) struck it Blessed Sacrament (IW)

Top Ranking Groups for Color Guard rich with “Crude.” Rifles were tossed over pumping oil derricks, and the prismatic colors seen when looking at an oil slick were spun with silky refinement. Bronze Medalist Carmel HS (Ind.) introduced almost every conceivable neon color in “Tabula Rasa.” The fluorescent rainbow vanished at the end with members covered by an ebony tarp. “Ssssuperb” described the members of Flanagan HS (Fla.) in “Old Skin,” as they shed their pink and purple snakeskins, emerging as beautiful yellow-and-black spinning serpents. James Bowie HS (Texas) drew inspiration from John Cage’s controversial “4:33” with “Anarchy of Silence,” challenging the audience’s perception of what a performance is. James Logan HS (Calif.) gave the classic tune “Nature Boy” a contemporary facelift, as tall flexible poles bent every which way with tosses around and over them. In “Mirror, Mirror,” Mechanicsburg HS (Pa.) gazed at its flaws in mirror shards, eventually realizing that what’s inside is what counts. Center Grove HS (Ind.) found belonging while spinning to a choral version of “Somewhere” in “A Place For Us,” using the Island of Misfit Toys as a motif. Pondering the existence of intelligent life in space was Miamisburg HS (Ohio), who performed “2 Possibilities Exist” with crop circle figures on the

Independent World

1 2 3rd st

Pride of Cincinnati WANDERLUST


Santa Clara Vanguard Rumble, Unravel, Rise

Independent Open

1st 2 3rd nd



Juxtaposition How Long Is Forever? Pacificaires BOXES Lexis Independent The Trail’s End

Independent A

1 2 3rd st

Paramount A Winterguard Almost Everything


In Motion Performance Ensemble Take 5

Paramount (IW)

Imbue (IW)

Onyx I, Will

Legacy presented by Carolina Gold LOVE IS BLIND

Scholastic World

1 2 3rd st

Tarpon Springs HS NY2


Avon HS Crude Carmel HS Tabula Rasa

Scholastic Open

1st 2 3rd nd

Shenendehowa HS Beauty Misunderstood GreenfieldCentral HS Eyre on a String Cape Fear HS Each Day Is Valentine’s Day

Scholastic A

1 2 3rd st

Bellevue West HS River Voices


Smithfield-Selma HS To Bee or Not to Bee Victor HS Wasting Time

Avon HS (SW)

Black Gold (IW) Carmel HS (SW)

Flanagan HS (SW)

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Mechanicsburg HS (SW)



James Logan HS (SW)

Lexis (IO)

Pacificaires (IO)

floor. Warren Central HS (Ind.) vented frustration from young American minds in “Somewhere in America,” set against a palette of dingy, smoky orange. Likely causing nightmares was Nease HS (Fla.), whose “Sounds of Silence” suggested that members were losing sanity with menacing whispers. A celestial goddess controlled the performers of Arcadia HS (Calif.), who moved to her motions as musicians follow a conductor in “Rite of Passage.” The members of Norwin HS (Pa.) became notes adrift on the ocean in “Message in a Bottle,” beginning and ending inside bottle-shaped props. With light blue costumes, North East Independent School District HS (Texas) reminded us of water droplets swirling around colored drains in “Vortex.” It was a jungle for Stoneman Douglas HS (Fla.), as zebras, cheetahs, and “The Animal Within” stalked the floor. 20 WGI FOCUS


Costumed as white rabbits in colorful waistcoats, Gold Medalist Juxtaposition (Ohio) turned UD Arena into a virtual wonderland with “How Long Is Forever?” The lone Canadian finalist, Pacificaires (B.C.) tugged at our heartstrings for a Silver Medal with Charlie Winston’s “Boxes.” Bronze Medalist Lexis (Ky.) portrayed the undying love of outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in “The Trail’s End.” The Pride of the Netherlands (NL) showed how artistic numbers can be with “M.C. Escher - Images of Mathematics.” Malachi Independent (Colo.) laid down railroad tracks to an undefined location in “Transcendent Journey.” Stonewall Independent (Va.) treated a plethora of purples to a lush orchestral soundtrack in “Until the Last Moment,” and Diamante (Calif.) had all its colors fade to black In “Dissipate.”

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WGI Color Guard World Championships

AMP Winter Guard (N.J.) showed the angst which can accompany romance in “Give Me These Moments,” while Vox Artium (Calif.) reflected on lost love in “Maybe I...,” set to “Always on My Mind.” Premonition (Fla.) moved with reckless abandon to Nina Simone’s “Wild Is the Wind,” and Alta Marea Winterguard (Ala.) reminded us that sometimes what isn’t said speaks volumes in “Unspoken.” The Pride of Missouri State (Mo.) advocated giving space to those we care about in “If You Love,” and Q (Pa.) incorporated war imagery with heavy knapsacks and medical kits in “Coming Home.” UCF Pegasus Open (Fla.) brought light out of a cloudy dreariness with “Daylight kisses everything,” while in contrast, CGT Dallas (Texas) reminded us of vanity’s darkness in “Narcissus.”

Scholastic Open

Shenendehowa HS (N.Y.) turned into bats, spinning equipment while hanging upside down from a bridge, in the Gold Medal-winning “Beauty Misunderstood.” With “Air on a String,” Silver Medalist Greenfield Central HS (Ind.) gave the beloved novel Jane Eyre a unique take. “Each Day Is Valentine’s Day” for Bronze Medalist Cape Fear HS (N.C.), whose adorable show gave us the warm fuzzies. Frances Howell North HS (Mo.) used empty chairs to express emotional isolation in “Together Alone.” Little Elm HS (Texas) evoked a sense of quiet determination over the Dixie Chicks’ “Top of the World,” while Cleveland HS (N.C.) gracefully swayed to gentle undersea currents in “Chorale Fantasia.” Eastlake HS (Texas) rustled up some fun with its boot-scootin’ frolic “The Hoedown,” and El Dorado HS

The Pride of the Netherlands (IO)

Malachi Independent (IO) AMP Winter Guard (IO)



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Stonewall Independent (IO)

(Calif.) recreated the construction of an illuminated sculpture Cape Fear HS (So) in “Building Urban Light.” Members of Wakeland HS (Texas) became human pinpoints on a map of the U.S. in “We’ll Be Just Fine,” and Choctaw HS (Okla.) reached into our cognitive faculties with the intellectual “Introspection.” Marvin Ridge HS (N.C.) honored visionaries whose ideas changed the world in “The Dreamers,” while Norwalk HS (Conn.) honored the courage of women fighting for the right to vote in “Movement.” South Brunswick HS (N.J.) used an array of cubic props with squares on its tarp in “Outside the Box,” while William R. Boone HS (Fla.) brought moments of blissful serenity with a placid “Nocturne.” Summerville HS (S.C.) illustrated that we’re capable of continual growth in “A Work in Progress,” and Chino Greenfield-Central HS (SO)

Francis Howell North HS (SO)

Hills HS (Calif.) illuminated a darkened world in “Eight Twelve,” based on John 8:12. A blind man found solace in painting for Diamond Bar HS (Calif.) with “Finding Color in the Dark,” while East Coweta HS (Ga.) spun on a tarp with long curves that rose six feet tall for “In the Loop.” Members of Eden Prairie HS (Minn.) coveted the vacant seat of power in “Dethroned,” and Mill Creek HS (Ga.) joined the ever-youthful Peter Pan for adventures that began from “The Window.”

Independent A

In “Almost Everything,” Gold Medalist Paramount A Winterguard (Ga.) portrayed the struggle of a teenager transitioning to adulthood but ended with hopeful smiles. Silver Little Elm HS (SO)

Cleveland HS (SO)

Cape Fear HS (SO)

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WGI Color Guard World Championships In Motion Performance Ensemble (IA)

Artistry IN BLUE (IA)



University of Georgia (IA)

Legacy presented by Carolina Gold (IA)

Medalist In Motion Performance Ensemble (Calif.) presented “Love Is Blind,” taking the audience through intense emotions with blind eyes. Bronze Medalist Legacy presented by Carolina Gold (N.C.), in its second year of WGI competition, celebrated the lives of loved ones lost and brought hope in “You Are Not Alone.” For its Fan Favorite program “Paint a Starry Sky,” Artistry IN BLUE (Ohio) explored the inspiration behind Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” University of Georgia (Ga.) reached out to claim the No. 5 spot with “Open Hands.” Interplay (Mich.) presented “Take a Stand” with a piano medley of Lady Gaga hits. Pegasus A (Fla.) showed the struggle that many encounter— but some can overcome—along “The Road.” Legacy Performing Arts (Ind.) gave a sweet performance of “And So It Goes,” ending in resolution. Delazure (Del.) presented “Coronation,” 24 wgi focus

where royalty takes its rightful place. MBI (Minn.) radiated excitement with “Auto-Correcting Society,” all about the effects of technology. Paradigm (Fla.) went back to the drawing board in “The Architects,” and National Avenue (Mo.) came full circle in its performance of “Exposition.” CGT Fort Worth (Texas) gave light to a “New Day” with its 2016 program. “Sharing Spaces” by Salem Blue (N.H.) had a clean and retro look with fresh turquoise accents. Sacred Heart University Winter Guard (Conn.) broke through the ropes with an exciting flag ensemble in “The Love That I Have.” James Madison University’s Nuance Winterguard (Va.) dazzled in hooded uniforms and layered choreography for “Can You Hear Me?” Allegiance (Ind.) presented the refreshing, autumn-inspired “A John Denver Production.” ATX Winterguard

Interplay (IA)

Smithfield-Selma HS (SA)

Victor HS (SA)

(Texas) maintained the audience’s attention in “FIME: A Situation Explaining Your State of Being.” Plainfield Winterguard (Ill.) illuminated the arena with its candlelit performance of “Into the Darkness.” Reverie Independent (Ga.) flashed contagious smiles and fiery red flags in “Me and Bobby McGee.”

Scholastic A

With floor-length deep blue dresses and absolute precision, Gold Medalist Bellevue West HS (Neb.) enchanted the audience with its performance of “River Voices.” The beautiful bumblebees of Silver Medalist Smithfield-Selma HS (N.C.) got the crowd buzzing in “To Bee or Not to Bee.” Dainty and witty, “Wasting Time” by Bronze Medalist Victor HS (N.Y.) delivered the sort of free spirit normally only found in a young girl in summer.

Washington HS (Mo.) electrified the arena with “GRANDscapes.” Elk River HS (Minn.) hit the bullseye with its military-style program, “On Target.” Father Ryan HS (Tenn.) delivered a sweet-as-pie rendition of “What’s Inside.” The witches of Arlington HS (N.Y.) completed their performance with the shrieks of getting burnt at the stake in “Witch One?” You could watch through the looking glass with Lowndes HS (Ga.) as performers traveled through “Wonderland.” Judson HS (Texas) moved from postcard to postcard in “Please Come to Boston.” A dollhouse came alive in a playful Dripping Springs HS (Texas) performance of “The Greatest Things,” personifying little girls’ best friends. Lake Howell HS (Winter Park, Fla.) escaped from the cage during its bird-themed “Captum,” while Bridgewater-Raritan HS (N.J.) set out to sea in “Verwgi focus 25

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WGI Color Guard World Championships

loo-spow: A Viking Journey.” It’s not just a rumor: Dartmouth HS (Mass.) won WGI Fan Favorite while tackling the issue of cyberbullying in “#Gossip.” What started as a metal barrier later became a ramp that Apopka HS (Fla.) performers used to “Rise Up” over challenges. Northwest Cabarrus HS (N.C.) grew through heartbreak in “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.” Glittery lost boys from Kickapoo HS (Mo.) found their way in “Never, Never Lost.” Keller Central HS (Texas) dazzled in silver and pink for “Reflections.” Thunder struck as Downey HS (Calif.) gave us “I Think It’s Washington HS (SA)

Elk River HS (SA)

Dartmouth HS (SA)

Father Ryan HS (SA)



26 wgi focus

Going to Rain Today.” Mt. Juliet HS (Tenn.), in fluid motion, presented “And the World Turn.” Green Hope HS (N.C.) put on a haunting performance of “If You Truly Wish to Be,” inspired by Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Milford HS (Ohio) delivered a light and airy “Over the Rainbow.” Americas HS (Texas) maneuvered a mysterious box around the floor in “What Lies Ahead.” Oak Ridge HS (Texas) brought the fire with its performance of “The Flame Within.” And once upon a dream, Cumberland Valley HS (Pa.) gave an enchanting demonstration of the power of love in “Love Spell.”

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Drummin’ Pulse and Ayala HS march straight into first this year


record total of 225 indoor percussion lines came to Dayton, Ohio, April 14-16 for the 2016 WGI Percussion World Championships, including 83 Independent and 142 Scholastic groups. Impressively, all six marching World Class medalists heralded from the same circuit in southern California, making this a golden year for the Golden State. In the following pages, you’ll find every ensemble that took the floor for Finals, presented in finishing order.


Pulse Percussion (Calif.) told the story of forgotten orphanage children waiting to be part of a family in “Brother,” the closest thing to a public service message ever witnessed at Percussion Finals. RCC (Calif.) used ropes and half circles as metaphors for the angst that restrains us from finding true love in “Bound Is the Heart.” Broken City (Calif.) tried to break through physical and mental confinement in “CAGE,” learning that freedom can be achieved, but sometimes the cage has the last word. Rhythm X (Ohio) wore faux fur jackets amid a forest of white birch trees during “The Alpha,” taking on the form of wolves fighting for supremacy in the wild. Music City Mystique (Tenn.) delivered a captivating choreographed light show with LEDs as abstracted flowers “In Bloom.” Infinity (Fla.) proclaimed in “Everything Starts from a Dot” that all great ideas commence with the first pencil mark or computer keystroke, leading who-knows-where. Matrix (Ohio) encouraged us to see things differently in “Crazy Talk,” dramatizing the adage that people crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do. Cavaliers Indoor Percussion (Ill.) showed a castaway from civilization interacting with “The Lost Boys” in an undiscovered jungle. Cadets Winter Percussion (Pa.) wove a fantasy of surreal sights and sounds in “The Dream Electric,” featuring three performers playing simultaneously on each set of vibes. OC Indoor (Ore.) celebrated anarchy during “Imitate Life,” using Banksy-style graffiti as art imitating life imitating art. Gateway Indoor (Mo.) imagined the last thing we might see before death in “Until the Quiet Comes,” followed by a beautiful conjuring of the afterlife. United Percussion (N.J.) referenced the injustice and 30 WGI FOCUS

Vigilantes Indoor Percussion (PIO) Sparkman HS (PSO)

By Michael Boo Ayala HS (PSW)

Victor J. Andrew HS (PSA)

Ayala HS (PSCW)

STRYKE Percussion 2 (PIA)

Dakota Ridge HS (PSCO)


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WGI percussion World Championships RCC (PIW)

Broken City (PIW)

Cavaliers Indoor Percussion (PIW)



Rhythm X (PIW) Chino Hills HS (PSW)

Music City Mystique (PIW)

inhumanity of the U.S. government’s relocation of Native Americans in “We Shall Remain.” POW Percussion (Calif.) showed in “Hands” that while our hands can be used for violence, few of the actions we most cherish—such as holding the hand of a parent—can be achieved without them. Dark Sky Percussion (Calif.) broke free of the office pack mentality in “The Call of the Wild,” ditching briefcases to become members of a very different sort of pack. Atlanta Quest (Ga.) explored the contrast of extremes in “SUPER,” with players drastically varying their volume, speed, and intensity.

Percussion Scholastic World

Ayala HS (Calif.) and its faceless creatures presented an avant-garde rendition of Stravinsky’s primal Rite of Spring in “Igor’s Riot,” featuring images jumping across 12 video monitors. Chino Hills HS (Calif.) explored gender roles, often using extreme caricatures to make a point, in “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” The central focus of “The Dream” by Arcadia HS (Calif.) was a mother reading to her young son about space exploration, encouraging the pursuit of lofty life goals. To a soundtrack of Andra Day’s “Rise Up,” Avon HS (Ind.) 32 wgi focus

instructed us to rise above disdain and not listen to others’ hate. For Dartmouth HS (Mass.), the theme was “Revolution,” from British redcoats versus American patriots to the British rock and punk invasions of America. Center Grove HS (Ind.) made math, science, and the arts the gist of “The Pursuit of Perfection,” accompanied by the flawlessness of J.S. Bach’s “Prelude No. 1 in C Major.” More Bach—the “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” this time—enlivened “Point Counterpoint,” as Lebanon HS (Ohio) highlighted opposing arrows on the floor and turning arrow props. Franklin Central HS (Ind.) performed Samuel Barber’s Medea’s Dance of Vengeance in “Beneath the Surface,” featuring 12 panels indented with human impressions. Centerville HS (Ohio) told the legend of the sea beast “Kraken,” with each member sporting long streamers and giant tentacles spreading across the floor. Petal HS (Miss.) expressed anxiety about the educational process in “and So Are WE,” facing the pressure of tests while trying to find a place in the world. Walled Lake HS (Mich.) followed the troubled Thomas through his descent into insanity as he kept hearing “Voices of an Unquiet Mind.” Homestead HS (Calif.) used 20 large segments of curved

Top Ranking Groups for Percussion Arcadia HS (PSW)

Percussion Independent World

1st 2 3rd nd

Pulse Percussion Brother RCC Bound Is the Heart Broken City CAGE

Percussion Independent Open

1st 2 3rd nd

Vigilantes Indoor Percussion We the People Spirit Winter Percussion Aggression River City Rhythm Refugee

Percussion Independent A

Avon HS (PSW)

1st 2 3rd

Dartmouth HS (PSW)


STRYKE Percussion 2 Red Infinity 3 MagnatIz3d Elite Independent Percussion The Society

Percussion Scholastic Concert World

1st 2 3rd nd



tables in “When the Tables Turn,” continually establishing new staging areas. Ben Davis HS (Ind.) honored those who fought for their country while implying the futility of war in “The Good Earth,” complete with a military funeral. Leigh HS (Calif.) proclaimed, “We’re All MAD Here,” playing around a long Mad Tea Party table—Mad Hatter included—as in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Milton HS (Ga.) explored the heavens in “Stellar,” with a lift-off that made it appear as if the drums were entering outer space and long banners as re-entry sparks.

Percussion Independent Open

Vigilantes Indoor Percussion (Texas) focused on the dichotomy

between America’s founding ideals and its treatment of Native Americans in “We the People.” Spirit Winter Percussion (Mass.) had blood-curdling fun within a crumbling dystopian city in the aptly named “Aggression.” River City Rhythm (Minn.) ripped “Refugee” from today’s headlines, showing the loss of dignity endured by immigrants trying to make a better life. In “WORD,” Monarch Independent (Texas) stated that the word is “the single most powerful force available to humanity.” Breakthrough Indoor Percussion (Ariz.) imagined the

Ayala HS As the Last Page Turns Woodbridge HS Cast Your Shadow Tall Goshen HS As the Wind Blows

Percussion Scholastic World

1st 2 3rd nd

Ayala HS Igor’s Riot Chino Hills HS Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus Arcadia HS The Dream

Percussion Scholastic Open

1st 2 3rd nd

Sparkman HS Aurora: Ritual of Light Norwalk HS Break Cy-Fair HS The Lighthouse

Percussion Scholastic A

1st 2 3rd nd

Victor J. Andrew HS Never Odd Or Even Oak Grove HS (MS) The Mad Hatter Norton HS Worn

Percussion Scholastic Concert Open

1st 2 3rd nd

Dakota Ridge HS Shattered Corona del Sol HS Freak Show Golden HS Ascension

tion of the “Colorblind,” eventually introducing a full rainbow of colors. Bakersfield College (Calif.) explored the physical space within and around a series of rectangular frames in “Framed.” Rise Percussion (Colo.) ushered us into the thrilling world of Hang drums in “The Journey.” Civitas Independent (S.C.) turned into mindless automatons without “The Human Element,” becoming the percussion equivalent of the Borg in Star Trek. Infinity 2 (Fla.) stripped away the fears of individuals wishing to be part of a group in “Join Us.” Matrix Open Percussion (Ohio) set out to convince us that life is not about chance and we are the “Kings & Queens” of our own destiny. ConneXus Percussion (Ohio) demonstrated how fabric can unite and divide in “Woven: By a Thread,” as members physically wove themselves around each other. Pioneer Indoor (Ill.) wondered what secrets might be spilled “If These Walls Could Talk.” 5Points Percussion (Texas) used various illumination sources in “Spectrum,” as if channeling the thoughts of a beam of light. Freedom Percussion (Mo.) told a love story through short sentences in “Three Simple Words.” Chattanooga Independent Percussion (Tenn.) gave the percussion version of a motivational speech in “The Next Level.” wgi focus 33

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Sparkman HS (Ala.) presented eerie apparitions worshipping the Borealis in “Aurora: Ritual of Light.” Norwalk HS (Conn.)

started a pun-heavy show called “Break” with brake drums, tried to catch a break, saw things break down, and then took a break. Cy-Fair HS (Texas) created an entire seaside environment for “The Lighthouse,” a metaphorical guiding light through life. Arcadia HS (Calif.) proclaimed the strength of a team to be the strength of each member, taking on new challenges to “Go the Distance.” Escambia HS (Fla.) staged an emotional but fruitless search for a missing child in “Endless Love,” as a child’s photo faded to white. Mechanicsburg HS (Pa.) endured the Spirit Winter Percussion (PIO)

intense scrutiny of others in “The Spotlight,” shining under the pressure. Central Crossing HS (Ohio) became a surreal René Magritte painting in “Alone in a Crowd,” with apples integral to the visual theme. Trumbull HS (Conn.) took a light-hearted approach to gravity in “What Goes Up…” Nease HS (Fla.) brought out an extended dance squad to depict complex mental processes during “Turnings of the Mind.” For “Into the Deep,” Union HS (Okla.) gave us a sinking feeling amid bubbling aquatic sounds. Bellbrook HS (Ohio) established a techno groove to march through the inner workings of a circuit board in “MainFrame.” Bellevue West HS (Neb.) performed as hooded initiates lit by giant ceremonial candles during the shadowy “Secret Cy-Fair HS (PSO)

Breakthrough Indoor Percussion (PIO)

Arcadia HS (PSO) River City Rhythm (PIO) Monarch Independent (PIO)

Rise Percussion (PIO)

Norwalk HS (PSO)


Escambia HS (PSO)

FAV Nease HS (PSO)












Marching Percussion Festival


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Modulation Z (PIA)

Farmington United Percussion Ensemble (PIA)

Elite Independent Percussion (PIA)

Society.” Lawrence Township HS (Ind.) referenced the jubilation of creating art and spinning around in “spIN Art.” Cypress Falls HS (Texas) heralded the power of one individual to foster change among an entire group in “The Power of One.” Kickapoo HS (Mo.) became French mimes to French symphonic music in “Silent Love.”


STRYKE Percussion 2 (Fla.) told the story of Little Red Riding

Hood from the perspective of the Big Bad Wolf during “Red.” Infinity 3 (Fla.) finished “Magnatiz3d” appropriately, with bungee drumsticks getting stuck together. Elite Independent Percussion (Miss.) considered what it’s like to feel you’re being

watched in “Paranoid.” Modulation Z (Mo.) took a cynical look at rhetoric and promises in “The Campaign.” Farmington United Percussion Ensemble (Mich.) went through “The Grind” of an average 36 WGI FOCUS

workday, ending with yard work back home. eNVision (Nev.) presented a chronology of the chairs we use as we grow in “Chairish Life.” Revelation (N.C.) got in trouble after diverging off “The Road of Good Intentions.” Unity Percussion (Fla.) evolved from idyllic existence to rowdy indulgence in “Seeds of Eden.” Purecussion Music (Neb.) ran the risk of causing harm to others in “Pernicious.” Aftermath Percussion (Pa.) presented a variety of happy, sad, and angry “Voices.” Warner University Royalty Percussion (Fla.) took “One Small Step” for a man, based on JFK’s challenge to reach the moon. Lake Effect Percussion (Mich.) overcame life’s struggles in “Drag Me Down.” Axis Indoor Percussion Ensemble (Ohio) introduced a collection of personal stories in “This is… (who we are).” Huron Valley Percussion (Mich.) poked fun at electronics failures in “Amped,” and Marion Harding Percussion (Ohio) set off warning lights across the floor in “Red Alert.”

Hatboro-Horsham HS (PSA)



Oak Grove HS (PSA) Norton HS (PSA)

Zionsville Community HS (PSA)


Victor J. Andrew HS (Ill.) used the constantly shifting meters of “Never Odd or Even” to convey emotional energy. Oak Grove HS (Miss.) had performers popping out of huge felt hats in “The Mad Hatter.” Norton HS (Ohio) examined how a life of challeng-

es builds dignity and strength in “Worn.” Hatboro-Horsham HS (Pa.) performed Pat Metheny’s mesmerizing “First Circle” during “Encircled.” Zionsville Community HS (Ind.) put on an animated baseball game in “Batter Up!” Greenfield-Central HS (Ind.) showed us tall mirrors and a series of blazing marimba runs in “Mirror, Mirror.” Irondale HS (Minn.) traced a family tree and ancestral sacrifices in “A Love of Thousands.” Foothill HS (Nev.) saw its members controlled like marionettes in “Puppet Master.” Minooka Community HS (Ill.) reminded us it’s okay not to be cosmetically perfect during “Just the Way You Are.” Edwardsville HS (Ill.) delivered a

whimsical boatload of childhood delights during “Imagine.” Elk River HS (Minn.) was inspired by Adam and Eve’s fall from grace in “Forbidden,” with plenty of apples for all. When Milford HS (Ohio) performed, large swatches of orange literally came “Out of the Blue.” Downington West HS (Pa.) summarized the feeling of being emotionally stranded in “Surrounded.” Central Dauphin HS (Pa.) caught inflatable blue balls between cymbal plates in “GRAVITY.” Colerain HS (Ohio) presented a day in the life of an Old West town’s residents in “High Noon.”

PERCUSSION SCHOLASTIC CONCERT WORLD Ayala HS (Calif.) demonstrated how musically sensitive a concert

ensemble can be with the gorgeous “As the Last Page Turns.” Woodridge HS (Calif.) exhibited eye-popping yet nuanced mallet technique in “Cast Your Shadow Tall,” and Goshen HS (Ind.)

exploited howling breeze and gale sounds in “As the Wind Blows.” WGI FOCUS 37

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Mansfield HS (Mass.) created a variety of malevolent timbres to match its threatening makeup in “Serenada Paranoia,” while Tunstall HS (Va.) lovingly presented a letter from a man to the woman he was torn away from in “Once in a Blue Moon.”


Dakota Ridge HS (Colo.) performed on wine glasses and incorporated breaking glass sounds in “Shattered.” Corona del Woodbridge HS (PSCW)

Sol HS (Ariz.) brought out a series of menacing carnival oddities in “Freak Show,” and Golden HS (Colo.) delivered a high-octane

jig with “Ascension.” New Philadelphia HS (Ohio) tenderly interpreted a soldier’s letter to home from the battlefield in “The War We Wage.” Corinth Holders HS (N.C.) performed fiery Latin music in “Of Spanish Descent,” and Central HS (Calif.) intrigued with a blistering series of ostinatos in “Black Arches.” Goshen HS (PSCW)

Mansfield HS (PSCW)

Tunstall HS (PSCW)

New Philadelphia HS (PSCO)

Golden HS (PSCO) Corinth Holders HS (PSCO)


Corona del Sol HS (PSCO)




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20 16

WGI Winds World Championships

Breath On a

Aimachi and Avon HS take titles in sophomore Finals


n its second year of existence, WGI Winds has increased in numbers from 20 groups in 2015 to 33 at the 2016 WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, April 16 and 17. Ensembles came from 12 states and Japan, with Independent World Winds Champion Aimachi presenting its followup to multiple Winds exhibitions at the 2014 WGI Percussion World Championships. Creative staffs had carefully watched those earlier Aimachi performances, which set the bar high for what Winds programs could hope to accomplish. Anyone entering the new, exciting, and essentially wide open world of WGI Winds now knew in advance that they were going to have to bring their “A game.” The degree of variety among all the ensembles this year was extraordinary. Some groups told stories and some focused on making the music central to the production. Some groups performed with numerous props and elaborate theatrical sets, and some chose to perform without additional visual stimuli, focusing on marching technique and constantly evolving drill. Small guard complements enhanced some productions and others chose not to use any auxiliary members. Indeed, WGI Winds has proven that it’s whatever it needs to be for the success of each individual unit. Many ensembles had relatively small stationary percussion components, usually placed in the back of the performance floor. But some had full percussion lines and a few placed those right up front, just like most WGI Percussion groups. Electronics (such as synthesizers) and the amplification of mallet instruments, percussion accessories, and even some marching wind players seem to have become standard among all groups. It’s expected that WGI Winds will continue to grow, given that there were 13 different regional locations for Winds this year, scattered around the country and in Europe. Dozens of groups participated in these regionals to get a foot in the door. New scholastic groups are especially viable, as everything needed for a WGI Winds ensemble already exists within each school’s marching band. One thing’s for certain: Those who attended WGI Percussion Finals and didn’t stay an extra day to catch Winds Finals 42 wgi focus

Aimachi (WIW)

By Michael Boo STRYKE Wynds (WIO)



Cleveland HS (WSO)

FIU Indoor A Winds (WIA)

Jackson County Comprehensive HS (WSA)

Avon HS (WSW)


20 16


missed an amazing event. If you plan on sticking around next year (you should), you’ll fi nd that WGI Winds is in no way a letdown from the percussion performances. If anything, it’s a cherry on top of the sundae that is the WGI World Championships.


Aimachi (Japan) put on a Gold Medal-worthy spectacle in “Ascension,” chock full of traditional and contemporary Japanese flavors, punctuated with colorful fireworks and breathtaking theatrics. Rhythm X Winds (Ohio) featured neither storyline, props, nor sets during “Aurora,” based on popular composer John Mackey’s “Aurora Awakes”—Mackey himself was in Dayton earlier in the week to polish the group’s presentation. Orange County Independent Winds Ensemble (Calif.) played Bernard Herrmann’s “Psycho” and Michael Daugherty’s “Desi” in a show titled “Shooting Warhol,” inspired by the famed pop artist. University of North Georgia (Ga.) was the only Winds ensemble to march a large drum battery, playing “Attraction: The Music of Scheherazade.” FIU Indoor Winds (Fla.) offered a literal representation of Atlas bearing the planet on his shoulders in “Weight of the World.” Project Arts (Fla.) explored “PRECAMBRIAN,” the era that accounts for 88% of geologic time, including the earth’s creation.


Gold Medalist Avon HS (Ind.) combined serene beauty with pulsating rhythmic vitality by mashing up John Adams’ “Short Ride in Fast Machine” and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” during “The Fastest Way to Heaven.” Plymouth HS (Ind.) was inspired

by the story of the mythological poet/musician Orpheus in “Underworld,” performed against a hellish landscape with molten flags and flickering torches. Father Ryan HS (Tenn.) led a museum tour during “The Gallery,” pondering some of the most famous artworks in the world, only to be interrupted by the alarms and lockdown resulting from a theft. Greenfield-Central HS (Tenn.) proved that “April Showers” bring May flowers, basing its show largely on Borodin’s celebratory “Polovtsian Dances” from Prince Igor.


STRYKE Wynds (Fla.) set “Déjà Vu” in a surreal, dream-like state.

As every ending has a beginning, the Gold Medal-winning show started and ended with the same drill set. Carolina Gold (N.C.) played Barber’s Symphony No. 1 during “One,” a show about how one thing leads to another and everything shares a connection. Entourage (Mich.) built “Life as a House,” the story of someone who had three months to live and wanted to spend them at home.


First-place Cleveland HS (N.C.) explored electrical wires in “Wired,” focusing on pure music rather than a storyline. Runner-up Flanagan HS (Fla.) also steered clear of the programmatic in “Of Beauty & Madness.” Ola HS (Ga.) definitely relished its storyline, performing “Masque of the Red Death,” based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story about a grand masquerade ball during the time of a great plague. Miamisburg HS (Ohio) filled the floor with red during the Latin-flavored “Roja” (Spanish for “red”), zeroing in on how that color is often associated with passionate feelings. In

Rhythm X Winds (WIW)

Flanagan HS (WSO)

Plymouth HS (WSW) Carolina Gold (WIO)


Top Ranking Groups for Winds “After Midnight,” Elk River HS (Minn.) created a wee-weehours jazz nightclub scene so real you could practically smell the cigarette smoke.


Top finisher FIU Independent A Winds (Fla.) used steel beams as visual and musical props for the hard rock of “Metallic,” with two of the beams becoming percussion instruments. Point University Winds (Ga.) wrestled with the spiritual forces of good and evil throughout “In All Things.” Inertia Independent Winds (Ohio) explored heaven in “The lights will guide you home,” based on John Rutter’s “Gloria” and “Requiem.” Railmen (Neb.) conveyed the joy of America’s pastime in “The Old Ball Game,” with winds marching around the plates of a baseball field, followed by LakeShoremen (Mich.) with “PURSUIT” and Maelstrom Winds (Fla.) with “Reflections of Mother Earth.”


First-place Jackson County Comprehensive HS (Ga.) used several moving poles to create the effect of being “Caged,” inspired by Arcade Fire’s “My Body is a Cage.” Mill Creek HS (Ga.) kept pushing on to climb mountains during “The Ascent,” performed to “Finlandia” by Sibelius. Nova HS (Fla.) evoked a domestic nuclear emergency in “Fallout,” teetering on the brink of imminent disaster. Lake Hamilton HS (Ark.) played “MockingJay,” music inspired by the Hunger Games series, while Pecos HS (Texas) performed lighthearted cartoon music in “ToonZVille.” Goodpasture HS (Tenn.) encouraged creative thought in “Out of the Box,” performed to Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.” Point University Winds (WIA)

Winds Independent World

1st 2 3rd nd

Aimachi Ascension Rhythm X Winds Aurora Orange County Independent Winds Ensemble Shooting Warhol

Winds Independent Open

1st 2 3rd nd

STRYKE Wynds Déjà Vu Carolina Gold One Entourage Life As a House

Winds Independent A

1st 2 3rd nd

FIU Indoor A Winds Metallic Point University Winds In All Things Inertia Independent Winds The lights will guide you home

Winds Scholastic World

1st 2 3rd nd

Avon HS The Fastest Way to Heaven Plymouth HS Underworld Father Ryan HS The Gallery

Winds Scholastic Open

1st 2 3rd nd

Cleveland HS Wired Flanagan HS Of Beauty & Madness Ola HS Masque of the Red Death

Winds Scholastic A

1st 2 3rd nd

Jackson County Comprehensive HS Caged Mill Creek HS The Ascent Nova HS Fallout

Newman HS (Ga.) performed another non-programmatic show titled “Atlas Shrugged,” and Olympic HS (N.C.) had visions of

the night in “Dreaming Under a New Moon.” Last but not least, Southmont HS (Ind.) called “All Aboard” with a dynamic train

show that took passengers to the destination of their choice. Lake Hamilton HS (WSA)



Mill Creek HS (WSA)


Custom designed and made for 2014 Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.

The 2016 season was a wild ride. Along the way, we created something unforgettable. Seasons end, but the memories last forever.


CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2016 WGI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MEDALISTS & FINALISTS: AYALA HIGH SCHOOL – GOLD MEDALS Scholastic Concert & Marching Percussion World Class SPARKMAN HIGH SCHOOL – GOLD MEDAL Scholastic Marching Percussion Open Class BROKEN CITY – BRONZE MEDAL Independent Marching Percussion World Class RIVER CITY RHYTHM – BRONZE MEDAL Independent Marching Percussion Open Class PLYMOUTH HIGH SCHOOL – SILVER MEDAL Scholastic Winds World Class OCI WINDS ENSEMBLE – BRONZE MEDAL Independent Winds World Class ENTOURAGE – BRONZE MEDAL Independent Winds Open Class Additional Finalists: Bakersfield College, Freedom Percussion, Huron Valley Percussion, Irondale High School, Matrix, Matrix Open Percussion Ensemble, Mechanicsburg High School, University of North Georgia Special salute to the FREE PLAYERS DRUM CORPS for their outstanding exhibition performances!


For over 30 years, the WGI Scholarship Program has provided more than $500,000 to assist the creative studies of young guard and percussion members. WGI is proud to recognize the performers who earned awards at the 2016 World Championships through the WGI Scholarship Program. These 13 talented young people will receive grants ranging from $1,000 to $3,000, with funds provided by private sources as well as WGI sponsors. This year’s Zildjian/Mark Thurston Scholarship was won by Randy Villegas of Bakersfield College; Mia Thompson of Edwardsville HS received the Yamaha/ Dennis DeLucia Scholarship; and Fred J. Miller Memorial awards went to Tyler Gerton of Vigilante Percussion and Jamie Kasieqicz of Trumbull HS. Georgiana Biggs of Lambert HS received the Bob Wiles Memorial Scholarship, Pride of Cincinnati’s Caitlin Daffron won the Mike McCool Memorial Scholarship, and the first Lynn Lindstrom Memorial Scholarship went to Thao Dao of Solstice HS.


Tyler Gerton Vigilante Percussion

Color Guard

Georgianna Biggs Lambert HS

Thao Dao Solstice HS

Jamie Kasieqicz Trumbull HS

Mia Thompson Edwardsville HS

Caitlin Daffron Pride of Cincinnati

Rachel Griffin El Dorado HS

Emily Kort Omaha Burke HS

Shawn Tran Homestead HS

Beatriz Martinez Carmel HS

Kathryn Sexton Paradigm

Emma Shafer Avon HS

Randy Villegas Bakersfield College

Want to give to the WGI Scholarship fund? Go to or mail your donations to WGI Scholarship Donation, 2405 Crosspointe Drive, Dayton, OH 45342.

50 wgi focus

Profile for WGIsportofthearts

WGI Spring Focus 2016  

Find out the scoop from the 2016 WGI World Championships!

WGI Spring Focus 2016  

Find out the scoop from the 2016 WGI World Championships!