Percussion

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Read on to learn how students can become involved in LGHS Percussion.


Percussion Techniques Class

The Music Department offers an elective course, Percussion Techniques, to interested students at all grade levels.  Freshman Marching Band percussionists are automatically placed in this course, which meets during 5th period and is overseen by marching band instructors Cameron Spencer and Steve Martinez. The goal of the class is to provide a solid foundation for all percussion techniques (rudimentary, mallets, timpani, and small auxiliary) while preparing percussion ensemble music throughout the year. Students will acquire the skills needed for future placement in the Percussion sections of Symphonic Band/ Wind Ensemble, and for participation in the Winter Percussion ensemble. Students who complete Percussion Techniques will receive 1 year of Performing Arts credit (grades 9-12).


Winter Percussion

Winter Percussion is offered as an extracurricular activity. The ensemble rehearses for several hours after school twice a week and on Saturdays, after the fall Marching Band season ends. Members work on a show with a theme or storyline expressed through music, choreography, drill, costuming, and characterization. Winter Percussion performs at local and national level competitions, and at school events. Because it is an extracurricular activity, students do not receive academic credit for participation in Winter Percussion.

LGHS Winter Percussion ensemble wore medals, and huge smiles, after capping off a banner season by taking 1st Place in their division at the Northern California Percussion Alliance Championships on April 2. The group edged out 14 other schools in a deep field to take the top prize for the first time in LGHS history. On March 5 they also earned 2nd Place at WGI Regional Finals in Fresno. Congratulations to the students, and their hardworking directors Cameron Spencer and Steve Martinez, for an amazing season!

Spring has also been a winning season for four students from LGHS Wind Ensemble. Lazare Herzi (trombone, '16), Max Swisher (euphonium, '16), John Field (tuba, '18), and Eli Merg (trombone, '18) earned rave reviews and Command Performance honors for their Low Brass Quartet performance at the CMEA Solo/Ensemble Festival at San Jose State on March 19. Lazare has also held spots in the Santa Clara County Honor Band and the Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band for 2016, and Max performed in the California All-State Honor Band and in the National Honor Band. Hats off to all four musicians for their outstanding work.

Following what he calls "the most prepared auditions I have heard yet!", Music Director Chris Marra posted placement results for Concert Bands and Jazz Band, available at his teacher website page. He added, "I am really impressed and inspired by all of the care and preparation that the students put into these auditions." He also noted that an additional course option is available to aspiring percussionists starting in fall 2014 (details available here).

Gina Lawler

The smile on the face of LGHS Guard Captain Gina Lawler says it all: The 3/1/14 CCGC competition at Oak Grove High in San Jose was a resounding success, for both the Guard and the Percussion ensembles. Gina is brandishing the 3rd Place trophy for her team; earlier in the day Percussion took home 2nd Place in their division. 

. . . Congratulations to students and staff of both ensembles!