Many students here at McMahon are probably familiar with the different music department branches such as: Choir, Orchestra, and Band. However, these aren’t the only classes that a student can join relating to music. Every winter season, students from the band department gather together for Winter Percussion to compete against other schools. Daniel Piro (‘19) is probably one of the experts to talk to when it comes the band department. In this Question and Answer, Piro will give us on what is like to be a member of Winter Percussion.
Q: What exactly is Winter Percussion?
A: Winter Percussion is a form of the marching arts that is similar to marching band. However, there are a few differences: Winter Percussion is only for percussion instruments, such as, snare drum and marimba. It is performed in a gym rather than on a football field and it involves much more expression, choreography, acting, etc.
Q: When did you start competing for this?
A: McMahon’s competitive winter group started in the winter of 2015, which was my freshman year, with the help of my brothers Ben and JT Piro and many others.
Q: How long do you guys practice for?
A: We practice four days a week. On Mondays the front ensemble comes in for 3 hours (5:30-8:30), on Thursdays both the battery and front ensemble practice for the same hours, and on Saturdays we either have shows (which can take up the entire day), or we have a rehearsal for 11 hours.
Q: Is there any big competitions you get ready for?
A: Currently, we are still trying to learn and piece together our 2019 production, entitled “Ding”. As of this moment, we have four shows this year: March 9th at Shelton High, March 16th at Jonathan Law High School, and April 6th Winter Percussion Championships at Westhill High School. Additionally, we will be performing at the Westside Band Concert at McMahon on February 6th at 7pm.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a part of this?
A: For me, Winter Percussion has been kind of like an escape from school work where I can do what I love, having fun doing something more intricate and, in a sense, more difficult than marching band. My instructors have not only been my teachers, but have become some of my most influential friends I have ever had. Without Winter Percussion, I wouldn’t be who I am and I wouldn’t have the opportunities that I do today.
Q: Would you recommend people to join?
A: I strongly encourage people to join! This group is for anyone, regardless of their experience level. We have had people who have never touched an instrument before, and people who plan to be music majors in college. We encourage anyone who is interested and willing to dedicate time on this.
Q: How can someone join?
A: Unfortunately, we cannot take anymore members for this season because auditions are now closed, but we still encourage students to join next year! All they have to do is come to the band room and talk to Mr. Secchi.
Follow the BMHS Winter Percussion on instagram @mcmahonpercussion