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Winter percussion’s persistence pays off

CVHS’ winter percussion brought home the gold at the Northern California Percussion Alliance competition at James Logan High School on March 18, placing first out of nine schools in their division. Practicing three times a week, including rehearsals from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, the group’s hard work paid off.  

“It is definitely a big time commitment,” said freshman Aleksandra Hurka, who plays bassline in winter percussion.  “I feel like many people don’t see it as a physically demanding sport because it’s a music activity, but I feel like it should be categorized as a sport and that more people should do it. It is just very fun and a great experience.”

The students are very grateful for their percussion caption head (similar to a director), Glenn Imai.

“Glenn is a really good instructor and…always very straightforward with us. I feel that is a way that our group improves as a whole,” shared Hurka. 

“Our instructor Glenn is the one who taught me how to play. And then everyone has always been super supportive because everyone wants to do well, so everyone wants to help everyone else do well,” said snare drum player and freshman Harper Kiely. 

The group only started last year, making this year their second competitive season.  Along with Imai, staff members Alyssa Miceli, Ashley Nguyen, Christian Gerardo, and Ryan Yee are guiding students to their success.

“We’ve already gone from essentially no program to first place in two years, which is almost unheard of,” remarked Gabriel O’Hara, senior and cymbal player. 

The group is open to new members. “We can always use more people to join. The bigger the group is, the more we can do,” enthused O’Hara.

“It’s different than marching band. Because it has a smaller group, it’s a lot more intimate. There are less than 30 of us but it’s really fun. I liked the sense of camaraderie. It’s also fun to just play music at all,” said freshman and auxiliary percussion player Liam Lepkowsky. 

While the activity is fun, it also takes a lot of dedication.  Performing can be challenging.  

“It’s just like mental gymnastics all the time. That doesn’t even include all the playing,” described O’Hara. 

“You need, like, a mega mind brain for this activity,” proclaimed senior Michelle Huynh, who plays the snare drum.

“Winter Percussion is really cool. It’s super fun to watch, too. If you gave us a chance, we’d probably impress you,” O’Hara declared.

Winter Percussion at CVHS has a bright and promising future.  Keep a lookout for them!