Warren East Percussion Ensemble wins top honor at WGI finals
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – Banding together to get the job done is what members of the Warren East Percussion Ensemble did last weekend to secure the school’s latest musical accolade.
The ensemble competed in Dayton, Ohio, at the Winter Guard International Percussion World Finals against other groups. They secured the top honor after a series of competitions with their piece called “Love Goes Right.”
“It’s unbelievable,” said Cedrick Leavell, Warren East Middle School band director, and former percussion ensemble member. “I’m still wrapping my head around it.”
The ensemble is a concert band that allows students from neighboring schools to compete with Warren East students. Leavell said the group is separate from a standard school band in that way.
The group began practicing at least twice a week last December with intensive three-hour rehearsals.
“You don’t get to this point or anywhere near this point if the kids aren’t bought into the product and being dedicated to the craft,” Leavell said.
While they’re proud of the award, students with the ensemble said they hope the community recognizes their dedication to the program and to each other.
“This is my everything,” said Katie Yaden, a junior ensemble member. Yaden has been a percussionist since she was in the sixth grade. “I got into it because my brother did percussion. Even before I got started it was already a big part of my life.”
Much like a marching band, the ensemble played the music and brought it to life through movement.
Leavell said judges evaluated the performances according to how well the music had been composed and how well it was played.
Ryan Root, another junior member of the ensemble, said he never considered becoming a percussionist until he auditioned last year. And that has made all the difference.
“If you get the opportunity to do something like this – music and arts or sports – take it because it’s been a real blast,” Root said.
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