After a multiyear hiatus from competition, the Newtown High School Winter Percussion reemerged this year and scored an impressive 90.1 at last Saturday’s Musical Arts Conference (MAC) Championships held at Stamford’s Westhill High School to take fourth place in a field of seven of the best Percussion Marching A ensembles in the tri-state area.
Considered by the judges to be the most improved ensemble of the season, they complimented the 27 members on their professionalism and performance as they missed the bronze medal by just .35 point, an accomplishment almost unheard of for a first-year group.
Newtown performed a show titled “Stress,” written specifically for Newtown Winter Percussion by one of its instructors, David Brush. Mr Brush and Richard Lake were co-directors of the ensemble. Other instructors included Steve Surina, Tom Sulzicki, and Alan Amendola.
Mr Brush has been elated that instructors from the outstanding Trumbull Winter Percussion came to help the Newtown ensemble prepare for its season. Band parents (some without students in the percussion program) gave their time to help the group by moving equipment to and from shows and chaperoning students. The percussion equipment fills an average-sized box truck, and Mr Brush was quick to point out that without their efforts, the program would not exist.
The group began its season in February by traveling to Dartmouth High School in North Dartmouth, Mass., and finished with a respectable 70.4. Newtown continued to grow and improve all season, finishing by meeting their goal of breaking 90, which places the team among the truly elite of the indoor ensembles, according to Mr Brush.
“The students and staff were all extremely excited by this victory, and look forward to the coming fall Marching Band and Guard season, and the next winter season!” Mr Brush said.