The Walled Lake Percussion’s World Line group placed eighth at the 2011 WGI Percussion World Championship in the Percussion Scholastic World Division at the University of Dayton in Ohio on April 16.
This marks the first time Walled Lake Percussion has broken into the top 10 in the Scholastic World category — the highest and hardest category for high school students. Twenty-two scholastic world groups competed at the world championships.
Director Nick Pourcho said he was “very proud” of the group.
“It was a tough season because we pushed them harder then they have ever been pushed before, but they rose to the challenge and pushed back,” he said. “Because of the effort they put into being the best they can be, we not only had a great season, but finished placement-wise the best we ever have. We talk a lot about ‘Being the Example’ and they really did just that at WGI Finals.”
Walled Lake Percussion performed a show called “Beyond the Barriers,” which consisted mostly of an original composition by Pourcho and Paul Loos, with the exception of one piece called “Push the Limits” by Enigma. Andy Ebert, who also does all the drill work and choreography for the group, was the visual designer for the piece.
“The show has a very modern feel to it and goes through many different emotions from very intense, aggressive music to soft, beautiful music to very uplifting music,” Pourcho said.
While the percussion season starts in November when the students first have auditions and start rehearsing, the initial planning stages really begin the previous May when the design team starts having meetings to talk about what they want to do for the upcoming season. After months of periodically meeting, they begin to start writing the show in September.
Walled Lake Percussion, comprised of students from all three high schools in the Walled Lake Consolidated School District, has a large enough program to form two competitive indoor percussion ensembles, which is rare.
“To my knowledge, Walled Lake is one of only three schools in the country that has more then one competitive indoor percussion ensemble,” Pourcho said.
One ensemble is mostly underclassmen, while the other consists mainly of upperclassmen.
The groups rehearse approximately 15 hours a week from the end of November to mid-April, with competitions starting in February.
“It’s a lot of time and effort, but if you want to be one of the best in the world at something, that’s what it takes,” Pourcho said.