Warren Central students shine at indoor competitions

Published 10:55 am Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dedication and long hours paid off for the Warren Central High School indoor percussion and the Warren Central Junior High School winter guard.

The WCHS indoor percussion won second place at the Mississippi Indoor State Competition in Jackson March 31, then placed third at a regional competition, while the newly formed WCJH winter guard won second place in the state competition, said WCHS band director Alan Arendale.

“It is a big deal to win third place in the regional competition,” Arendale said, “The competition encompasses the whole southeastern portion of the United States.”

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The group of indoor percussionists will be recognized by the Vicksburg Warren School Board Thursday for their achievements this season.

“We weren’t looking to win,” said Will Everett, a 17-year-old senior in the percussion group, “We were looking to be the group that everyone wanted to see.”

Everett is the son of Marie Hartley and Glenn Hartley and said the indoor percussion group practices twice a week for three hours.

The group’s theme this year was Generation Next. They entertained the crowd with a theatrical performance complete with drums, electronics, melodic percussion instruments, bells and xylophones, Arendale said.

Rachel Green, also a senior member of the percussion group, said that the color scheme of the group was black and purple and the theme incorporated the sounds and visuals of “How we are the future.”

Green is the daughter of Ron and Sharon Green.

Arendale said the percussion group performed on a large piece of vinyl covering the gym floor and printed with graphics.

Chad Austin, the group’s leader said their performances included two community shows, entertainment for the student body, four state competitions and the one regional event.

Everett likened the percussion group to a family and said he looked forward to practice every day. While Green said she enjoyed the Indoor Percussion group because unlike regular band, this group had a less formal atmosphere.

“We are allowed to talk more because it’s not during school and it’s all about fun,” she said.

According to Arendale the state now recognizes band as an advanced physical education credit for high school students.

“If you’re not good at sports,” Everett said, “you can be in the band.”

The junior high winter guard took the second place win at the state competition after only three months of practicing as a group Arendale said, adding that the group performs choreographed flag routines to taped music

“They practiced four hours a week after school and on some weeks they practiced for six hours,” he said.

The winter guard is led by Jace McMullin and Melynn Arendale and is comprised of 10 members.

Arendale said indoor percussion and the winter guard competitions began in the late 1970s for the purpose of maintaining marching and performing skills.