Tips Posts

WGI Percussion World Championships 2017 – 5 Reasons You Should Go

Below is a post we shared back in April of 2015.  It’s still valid today, so we updated it and posted it here again.  TLDR?  Go to WGI this weekend!

The WGI Percussion World Championships are this weekend and we have our top 5 reasons why you should go. But before we get to that, maybe you’ve never heard of WGI and are wondering what this is all about?

From their website: “WGI Sport of the Arts is the world’s premier organization producing indoor color guard, percussion, and wind ensemble competitions. As a non-profit youth organization, WGI serves as the leading governing body of the winter guard and indoor percussion activities. It is called the Sport of the Arts because it brings music to life through performance in a competitive format. Now entering its 40th year in 2017, the sport continues to evolve and grow.”

If you would attend this weekend, you would see the percussion section or “drumlines” of a marching band performing indoors. These show aren’t just thrown together. Hundreds, if not thousands of hours are spent designing, building, rehearsing and competing over several months.

Indiana is one of the premier states when it comes to competitive percussion ensembles. The Indiana Percussion Association just recently held their State Prelims and State Finals competitions where over 100 groups competed in both the concert and movement categories! You can view those results on the IPA website.

As you might have guessed, Indiana will be well represented this weekend in Dayton, Ohio at the WGI Percussion World Championships with several groups competing in various classes.

With that said, here are our top 5 reasons on why you should attend.

Quick Tips for Indoor Drumline – Warming Up Outside 2017

Here’s a repost from last year, just before the first IPA State Finals at Hulman Center in Terre Haute. We thought it was worth sharing again heading in to state finals weekend.

This weekend is only the second contest in the history of the IPA (Indiana Percussion Association) that requires an outside warm-up. Those groups who have performed in Dayton for WGI Championships or participate in circuits in warmer regions of the country know this is a normal process. The outside extended warm-up can be very beneficial to preparing for the large arena environment. But for those who have not gone through that process before, here are some tips to make sure the experience is smooth and beneficial for everyone.

Opinion: Glen’s Favorite Rock & Roll Instrumentals, Part Two

Hello and welcome back to the Chops Percussion blog!

Two weeks ago I introduced this series of posts on rock and roll instrumentals with some of my favorite, radio-friendly tracks. We covered five classics, such as Rush’s “YYZ”. If you missed it, its available here. Today I’m going to continue by introducing some more obscure tracks.

#1 – “Peaches en Regalia”, Frank Zappa, from Hot Rats

In 1969 Frank Zappa released Hot Rats, a classic, largely instrumental album. At the time of its release, Hot Rats was innovative due to Zappa’s creative use of 16-track recording equipment. “Peaches en Regalia” quickly became one of Zappa’s better known works, and a jazz fusion standard.

Funny story, back in 2012 I was at game five of the National League Division Series between the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants. When the Reds lost, after previously holding a 2-0 series lead, the stadium DJ immediately played “Peaches en Regalia”. It was a surreal moment, hearing an obscure Zappa tune after a demoralizing, season ending loss. Such is the life of a Reds fan.


Opinion: Glen’s Favorite Rock & Roll Instrumentals, Part One

Hey folks, welcome back to the Chops Percussion blog! I know it’s been a while since I rapped at you, but I’ve been busy not working on Saturdays. I’ll tell you, it’s been tough.

Today I’d like to start a brief series on rock and roll instrumental songs. A couple months back a friend and I started compiling a list of our favorite rock and roll instrumental tracks. We came up with a couple dozen off the top of our heads, then continued research on the internet. Eventually we came up with the following criteria for a track to make the list:

Songs that crossed over to rock and roll radio from another genre, such as jazz, were eliminated. For instance, fusion classics such as “Birdland” by Weather Report, and “Red Baron” by Billy Cobham were not eligible.

Songs that were largely instrumental, but included several words were also not eligible. For instance, a personal favorite, “David Bowie” by Phish was eliminated.

In part one of this series I’ll start with some of the better known classics. You may be familiar with these, because they’ve been on the radio at one time. Take the time to listen to each track and study the drummer’s

#1 – “YYZ”, Rush, from Moving Pictures

For further listening, be sure to check out the live version that later appeared on Exit . . . Stage Left, which includes a brief drum solo.

2017 Indoor Percussion Season

Welcome back to the Chops blog.  Indoor Percussion season is right around the corner, and we’re proud to once again be the presenting sponsor for the Indiana Percussion Association!  Indoor Percussion continues to grow in popularity within the state and across the country.  We’re lucky to have one of the best and largest indoor percussion circuits in the country, and we’re proud to support the efforts of IPA and all of the participating groups.

IPA has recently launched a brand new website and it looks fantastic. Head on over there to view scores, schedules, scholarship info and all of the latest news.

Here’s a current schedule of contests to help you find a show near you!

February 11 IPA Invitational at New Palestine HS
February 11 IPA Invitational at Owen Valley HS
February 18 IPA Invitational at Pendleton Heights HS
February 18 IPA Invitational at Franklin Central HS
February 25 IPA Invitational at Plainfield HS
February 25 IPA Invitational at Knox HS
March 4 IPA Invitational at Greenfield-Central HS
March 4 IPA Invitational at Zionsville HS
March 11 IPA Invitational at Ben Davis HS
March 11 IPA Invitational at Warsaw HS
March 11/12 WGI Indianapolis Regional at Franklin Central HS
March 18 IPA State Prelims/Divisional Finals at Avon HS and Decatur Central HS
April 1 IPA State Finals at Hulman Center, Indiana State University
April 15 WGI Preview Show at Center Grove HS (for groups going to WGI World Championships)