GOSHEN — Stand and deliver? Not this time.
After 10 years of presenting a more traditional, stationary performance style during competitions, the Goshen High School Crimson Percussion Ensemble is heading down to state finals in Indianapolis this Saturday with the goal of really shaking things up.
Considered a “World Class” ensemble — the highest class ranking available to percussion ensembles — the Crimson Percussion Ensemble has been competing at the top of its game for nine of the last 10 years.
“With percussion, you’re classed by skill set, not by the size of your school or how many are in the group, so you could be in A Class, Open Class or World Class,” said Tom Cox, director of bands for Goshen High School. “We started in A Class, which is not the highest class you can compete in. But after we went to our first show, the judges said we should be in Open Class. So they promoted us, which is a more advanced skill set, where you’ve basically maxed out Class A.”
Determined to continue their upward climb, the group continued to turn out one exemplary performance after another, soon earning themselves another promotion, this time to the top tier World Class designation.
“We’ve always done things a little differently, so our shows were always super-entertaining with these crazy arrangements,” Cox said. “So nine years ago we ended up competing at World Class status, and we’ve been World Class ever since.”
Over the course of those 10 years in competition, Cox noted that the one thing that never really changed with the group was its overall performance style, which he coined the “concert” ensemble style.
“For the last 10 years we were a concert ensemble,” Cox said, “meaning we didn’t move around, and basically we just did a lot of mallet percussion.”
Then, at the end of last year, the school hired Derrick Shannon to be the ensemble’s new leader. Celebrated by his peers in the music world as a “percussion specialist” Shannon immediately saw the potential for something new and different in his charges, and soon the idea for a “movement” percussion group took hold.
“This is his first year with Goshen Schools, and he has a lot of experience doing the movement percussion ensembles, which is where you have drill, you have a tarp, you have uniforms... it’s basically marching band without the wind instruments and guard,” Cox said of Shannon. “He has a lot of expertise in that area, and he thought ‘lets start something new’, so we started our first ever movement percussion ensemble this year, and it really got everybody excited.”
And that excitement appears to have paid off, as the Crimson Percussion Ensemble is currently ranked second in the state, lagging only 1.3 points behind the number one ranked Decatur Central High School ensemble heading into the state finals this Saturday — an ensemble which, interestingly enough, just happens to be directed by Cox’ identical twin brother, Tim.
“We’re feeling really good about the competition,” Cox said. “Regardless of what happens, its been a great year. Our goal is to finish in the top three, so I’ll really be interested to see what happens this weekend. Last year, the number two group won, so I don’t know. But I think we certainly have a shot.”
The Crimson Percussion Ensemble will compete for its chance at the state title at 7:20 p.m. Saturday at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.
GOSHEN — Stand and deliver? Not this time.
- Breaking News
FEMA OKs aid for 19 Indiana counties hit by storm
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster aid for 19 Indiana counties
Elkhart County jobless rate drops to 5.8 percent
Elkhart County’s jobless rate dropped below 6 percent last month, according to figures released today by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
The March unemployment rate for the county was estimated at 5.8 percent, compared to the February estimate of 6.2 percent and the March 2013 figure of 8.3 percent.
Bristol motorcyclist dies from crash injuries
Dale Greensides, 32, Bristol, the driver of a motorcycle involved in a crash with an automobile Sunday north of Middlebury, died today at 11:25 a.m.
No injuries in Concord Township fire
Firefighters were called to a basement fire in a Concord Township home shortly after midnight today.
Bristol bank robbery suspect arrested
A South Bend man has been arrested in connection with a bank robbery last year in Bristol.
Zamale E. Davis, 19, 1805 Chapin St., was arrested at 7:10 a.m. Friday in South Bend by officers with the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service.
Six injured in crash northwest of Wakarusa
A two-vehicle crash injured six people north of Wakarusa Tuesday.
The mishap occurred around 7:20 a.m. at the intersection of C.R.s 1 and 26.
Driver critically injured in Kosciusko County crash
A one-vehicle crash injured two men — one critically — south of Leesburg Tuesday.
The mishap occurred on C.R. 150 West just south of C.R. 400 North around 5 p.m.
Man killed in South Bend while possibly on bike
Police in South Bend say a man was fatally shot in the head
UPDATE: Main Street in Goshen closed due to gas leak
Goshen firefighters and Northern Indiana Public Service Co. workers are at the scene of a gas leak in at the intersection of Lafayette and Main streets in Goshen. Some residents in the immediate area are being evacuated.
Gas leak reported at Main and Lafayette streets in Goshen
Emergency responders are at the scene of a gas main leak in the area of Main and Lafayette streets in Goshen.
- More Breaking News Headlines
- FEMA OKs aid for 19 Indiana counties hit by storm