Whether it be from school or work, summer vacation is supposed to be a nice, relaxing break. High school students will tell you otherwise. Some may even say that summer is even more stressful than the school year.
Over summer, high school students often use the extra time to prepare for the upcoming year. They complete summer assignments for Honors and AP classes, begin to prep for the SAT on their own and through organizations such as Elite, and attempt to preview lessons for upcoming classes.
Individual students aren’t the only ones who make use of this extra time either. Larger organizations, such as school sports teams also often hold regular practices over the summer in preparation for the season. Including the Valencia High School percussion section.
Most people imagine the percussion section to be the section in band that consists of all the big drum thingies that they don’t know the names of. And they aren’t completely wrong, the battery section is the rhythm section of the band and serves to keep the band together throughout a piece. However, the battery is only half of the percussion section. Most of the time, the front ensemble is ignored. More colloquially known as the pit, the front ensemble is primarily made up of mallet instruments. Despite common belief, all of the instruments are not called xylophones.
Despite the difference in notability, both halves of the Valencia High School percussion section have been meeting regularly to practice this summer.
Two to three times a week, the percussion section meets for 4 hour long practices to warm up, build chops, and read music for the coming marching season
Yonghee Shin, incoming senior and section leader of the front ensemble shares his opinions with JSR.
“Percussion practices for me is always an exciting experience, especially in the beginning of each season. It’s always a refreshing experience to meet new members of our program and help each other as musicians and people. Our practices consist of hard work to make sure we are playing and performing at the top of our game and team bonding so that we are comfortable with one another on the field. The percussion program is both hard work and a life changing experience that I think more people should participate in.”