The fusion of music performed by the East Lincoln High School Winter Percussion Ensemble earned a bronze medal at this year’s WGI World Championships April 12 in Dayton, Ohio.
The group is ranked third in its class nationally. The East Lincoln Cheval Color Guard also attended the competition and made the top 20.
The percussion ensemble includes the mallet instruments, marimbas, xylophones, bass drums and timpani. This year’s performance, entitled “Fusion,” showcased the nexus of classical music pieces, as well as other music.
“The music from a percussion ensemble is really interesting,” said band director Matthew Brusseau. “You get many different colors (sounds) that happen because you have the different sizes and types of drums, as well as the mallet instruments. They create a really fantastic product.”
He added that a sound system balances and blends the sounds.
“It’s overwhelming in a fantastic way, and very enjoyable to listen to,” he said.
To qualify for the competition, the ensemble competed in local and regional contests, winning all except one.
“Three quarters of the way through their season, we were bumped up to a class higher than what we were originally competing in,” Brusseau said. “This is a huge honor in itself because the panel of folks who run WGI noticed that we were achieving at an extremely high level and were confident that we could compete in the next bracket. It was almost as if we had all odds against us going into world championships but we achieved an even higher level than anyone anticipated by getting a bronze medal.”
In the preliminary competition April 11, the ensemble placed fourth, 0.2 points away from third place, which qualified them to perform the next day in the finals, where they earned their highest score of the season to earn the bronze.
It was the third year in a row at the world championships for the ensemble, which placed fourth in the previous two.
“These competitions enable the students to perform and compete at an extremely high level,” Brusseau said. “It helps them to develop as musicians even more. These kids work extremely hard.”