Percussion Ensemble prepares for fall concert

Percussion Ensemble is practicing new pieces for the fall concert and having meditation every Friday.

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Danny Love

The ACHS Percussion Ensemble consists of multiple musicians. They will be performing at the fall concert on Oct. 19.

Some percussionists arrive early to practice and jam with other classmates, and on Friday mornings, they march down the hallways playing cadences. Nowadays, Percussion Ensemble is getting ready to prove themselves on Tuesday, Oct. 19 in the Antioch Community High School auditorium.

Percussion is a vital part of any band, and ACHS percussionists are working hard and practicing the fall pieces. They warm up for 10 minutes and then practice the pieces. The ensemble spreads into two groups; one practices with the band director and the other practices individually. After 20 minutes, they switch.

“I think everything’s going great,” junior Peter Bognar said. “Everyone’s making their sharp contribution and working hard towards a pretty great performance in the future.”

Every year, Percussion Ensemble plays one or more songs by themselves at the concerts; this year’s percussion piece is Led Zeppelin. The rock band is a favorite of ACHS band director Jonathan Untch, and he wanted to play something other than classical music or jazz. 

“I know some people in the group like that band as well, and I also know that some people in the group don’t know that band as well, so it’d be a good learning experience for everybody,” Untch said. “I also think it’s just a little bit different [because] it’s just a genre that we don’t often play in percussion ensemble.”

This year’s Percussion Ensemble may be unique compared to other parts of the band, orchestra or past ensembles. Members have decided to start Friday mornings with a gong solo to start a meditation time. Senior Gus Lockefeer came up with this idea on a Friday morning, and it has become a tradition since. 

Lockefeer was bored on a Friday morning; after writing “KFC” down on a whiteboard, he came up with a new meaning for those letters and a new meditation method. The meditation is interesting, full of fun and different from other types of meditation because theirs is loud.

“I step up to the front of the class [and] I write ‘KFC’ on the whiteboard,” Lockefeer said. “Then, I ask the class what ‘K’ stands for and they will always reply with ‘Korn’, and we will play the song ‘Twisted Transistor’. We have fun; some of us do a few metal screams and then the same thing repeats with [‘F’ and ‘C’].”

ACHS percussionists will not stop practicing until the pieces achieve perfection. Practicing seven pieces and having a fun meditation on Friday mornings, the percussion ensemble is excited and ready to play for their performance this fall concert.