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WGI World Championships Leaves Newtown Winter Percussion ‘Hyped’ For Next Season



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Newtown Winter Percussion competed at the annual WGI (Winter Guard International) World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, for the first time in the history of the program.

During the preliminaries on Thursday, April 11, at the BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University, Newtown placed fourth out of 50 groups from 21 states. The group earned a score of 92.325 and plenty of praise from the judges. It was especially exciting and rewarding because it was only the group’s third week in its new division, Scholastic Open, since being promoted from Scholastic Marching A to the more advanced level.

Semi-finals were held the next day in the Nutter Arena at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, on April 12. Each competition brings a different set of judges, and Newtown scored an 87.888 to take 18th place out of 32 semi-finalists. The group was a few tenths of a point shy of making the finals round. Newtown remained in Dayton on Saturday, April 13, to watch the highest-ranked groups and gather inspiration for next year.

“To see this come to fruition was something I’ll never be able to replicate — it is now just a memory. And now we move forward to bigger and better things,” wrote Director Ricky Grasso in a note to members, parents, and volunteers. “Aside from judges providing feedback, folks from the east coast and all around the activity turned their heads and paid their respect to this program and what we have accomplished together in such a short amount of time.”

Newtown High School junior Bec Remson summed up the experience, “Even though our group didn’t get into the finals round of the competition, it was a truly amazing experience from top to bottom. The performers and staff grew closer together as a family, encouraging each other throughout the week. Together, we are already hyped to get the next winter season started.”

A percussion banquet was later held on April 22. A potluck dinner was served at the high school for the event, and NHS Bands Director Kurt Eckhart, Mr Grasso, and band and guard President Laura Taylor spoke. Members received certificates and small gifts at the banquet.

Before the next winter season of Newtown Percussion comes the fall season of Newtown Marching Band & Guard. The orientation for the fall season will be held on Monday, June 5, in the NHS cafetorium, 12 Berkshire Road, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Students in seventh to twelfth grade interested in marching band and color guard are invited to attend with their parent(s). Also coming soon is the group’s annual mattress sale fundraiser which will be held on Saturday, June 1, 10 am to 5 pm.

For more information about the Newtown Marching Band & Guard, see its website, newtownbandandguard.weebly.com.

Newtown Winter Percussion members warm up before participating in the WGI (Winter Guard International) World Championships in Dayton, Ohio. (Denise Romano photos)
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