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Winter Guard International 2011

After months and months of practice, long bus trips, costume fittings, twisted ankles, sun burns and sore backs, 184 of the top Winter Guard International ensembles landed in Dayton, OH during the second week of April for the Percussion Championships. And over this exciting 3-day event, twenty five SABIAN endorsed groups competed in seven divisions.

The SABIAN booth was buzzing all weekend with performers, parents and friends trying out the latest products for marching percussion. Our resident “Green Man” – heavily featured throughout the weekend on the Jumbotron screens at the University of Dayton Arena – was a huge hit! He took pictures with adoring fans, handed out t-shirts and catalogs, and even ran through the stands on finals night tossing SABIAN swag into the crowd.

In the Scholastic A division, Foothill High School from Henderson, NV placed 8th with a score of 90.45 for their performance of “Love”, under the direction of Nick Waters.

Vegas Vanguard from Las Vegas, NV took home the bronze medal with a score of 92.138 for their performance “For Honor and Glory”, under the direction of Brian Howerton. eNVision from Reno, NV placed 9th and received the Independent A WGI Fan Favorite award with a score of 87.175, under the direction of Aaron Hines.

The bronze medal (93.475) went to Ayala High School from Chino Hills, CA for “Kingdom Come: The Rise & Fall of an Empire”, under the direction of Sean Gordon in the Scholastic Concert World class.

Franklin Central High School performed “Gravity” in the Scholastic Open finals – the Indianapolis, IN ensemble made a strong showing with a 4th place finish (93.3), under the direction of Jeff Huffman.

In the Independent Open competition, George Mason University from Fairfax, VA received a score of 90.213 and 4th place for their performance “Far Out”, under the direction of Chris Martin. Tates Creek Indoor Ensemble competed in the same category with an 8th place finish (88.363) for “The Guardians”, under the direction of Brian Flack.

Ayala High School from Chino Hills, CA took 6th place (91.9) in the Scholastic World finals with "Stronger", under the direction of Ike Jackson.

The Independent World groups faced stiff competition throughout the season, and this weekend was no different. The reigning 2010 champions, Pulse Percussion from Rosemead, CA, won the bronze medal (94.525) for “Generation Next”, under the direction of Danielle Collins, while 2009 champions Rhythm X from Columbus, OH took home 4th place (92.225) with “Stand By Me”, under the direction of Craig Dunn and Tim Jackson.

A stand-out cymbal performance during the Independent World finals came from Michigan’s North Coast Academy, under the direction of Diane King. Their 5th place performance (93.938) of “Balance” showcased the performers’ flexibility and stamina. At one point during the routine all members on the floor dropped their instruments and picked up hand cymbals to form a powerful 28-person cymbal line!

Tyler Junior College from Tyler, TX placed 11th (86.963) for “In a Flash”, under the direction of Tom McGowan, while Gateway Indoor from St Louis, MO took home 12th place (84.35) for “Johnny”, under the direction of Greg Hamilton and Paul Richardson.

And last, but certainly not least, Palmetto Percussion’s haunting performance of “Into the Dark” earned them a 13th place finish (83.6), under the direction of Erik Crook.

We’re looking forward to another thrilling WGI season – try-out schedules and new performances are already in the works for the fall and winter months. Congratulations to all ensembles who performed and competed throughout the season!

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