Winter Percussion Dominates Regional Competition


SHS Winter Percussion members warm up before showtime.

Klara Hoherchak, Staff Writer

On Saturday, February 28, Stamford High’s very own Winter Percussion ensemble traveled to the Winter Guard International Trumbull Regional in Trumbull, CT and qualified for the WGI World Championships under the direction of music teacher George Beratis.  The ensemble is a combination of battery instruments (such as the snare and bass drums) and the pit ensemble (instruments such as the marimba and vibraphone). The ensemble was up against groups from the entire east coast and one from Canada.  While competing against 12 ensembles in the preliminary round, Stamford High placed first; this allowed them to compete in the final round.  In the final round, they got second place by one point to a group named Cranston East from Rhode Island.

The Winter Percussion group at Stamford High consists of 23 students and an eight person staff.  Since winter percussion is a mix between theatre and music, the staff, led by Beratis and Percussion Director Diane Zinicola, starts preparations in the summer to put the program together.  Students start rehearsing in late October with an intense, 3-day-per-week practice schedule, working up to 11 hours on some days!

Since the ensemble placed so high, they will be traveling to Dayton, Ohio on April 7-12, to compete in the World Championships. However, until then, the group does not have a break. On March 15, they will be performing in two shows at Westhill High School then Shelton High School.  The following Saturdays, March 21 and 28, they have performances at Jonathan Law High School and Norwalk High School, respectively. On April 4, the week leading up to Dayton, the ensemble will be in the Musical Arts Conference Championships at Westhill.

Good luck Black Knights, and bring it home!!