The FFCC is pleased to announce that Mark Perrett, from ‘The Grid Book’, will be giving a clinic at Percussion Focus West at 4:00 PM this Saturday, February 27, 2016. The clinic will take place in the Gym at Gaither High School. No equipment is necessary. Purchase your tickets in advance for $10 at drumlinesofamerica.com!
A class designers talk about making your show memorable to the audience AND your performers
It’s the biggest dilemma guard designers face. In large classifications, how do you make your team stand out with the audience and judges? Some of the top A class designers in the FFCC seem to think that finding programs that are, first and foremost, memorable to your performers is the key to it all.
Hector Fermaint, director at Oak Ridge High School, has led his program through 15 years of consistent growth that now has them battling in the ever-competitive Scholastic A class in the FFCC. Fermaint feels the key is finding the balance between being unique but also connecting with your kids. “Through music, I like to stay out of the box but you should always know your performers and the types of music they will enjoy performing to.”
Knowing your students and what will be memorable to them will naturally translate and become memorable to the audience and judges. FFCC Hall of Fame member, Michael James, who currently designs in Scholastic A for Sunlake High School says, “I try to stick to their ‘identity’ as a color guard. When everyone spends their time copying or recreating someone else’s ideas, I’d rather remain true to who we are. Diversity is a beautiful thing. We need to embrace that again.”
Jade Bouza, from Newsome High School echoes the same sentiment. “Find what makes your team special, whether it is performance quality, weapon, training, movement, etc. and embrace it. Each team is different. Each season is different. Most importantly though, give the students something to connect to in their program, but don’t do all the work for them. Ask THEM how they connect to it – empower them a bit. The best inspiration is when students and staff are both equally invested in the creative process, and it makes for a memorable season regardless of the numbers or placements.”
So, it seems the most successful designs are ones that are synergistic with who the designers, instructors, and performers really are. Ricardo Robinson of Braden River High School mentions, “I’ve found the most success designing shows around my personal, as well as my student’s personalities. Since I am typically a ‘happy-go-lucky’ guy, and my kids are comical, we usually do something that is lighter and more crowd entertaining.” FFCC audiences who have seen the delightful Braden River show this year entitled, “Pure Imagination” will verify that Robinson’s quote above is completely true.
Jarret Thompson, from Lake Howell High School adds, “A class is so large it is easy to get lost in the crowd, so I try to make my team stand out by creating a unique mood in the gym or arena. People will always remember how you make them feel”.
Memorable shows to the audience and judges must first start out as being memorable to the performers. The advice of these A class experts seems to encourage all instructors and designers to get to know their kids. Find what excites them. Find out who they are. Then from there, develop a program that engages them and the audience and judges will follow right along.
Good Luck to all of our FFCC ensembles as they create memories in 2016!
Looking Ahead to Seminole and Fleming Island
Coming fresh off an exciting day for the Orlando area color guards at Cypress Creek, the FFCC moves this week to Tampa and Jacksonville as traditional shows at Seminole High School and Fleming Island High School take center stage. Here are some things to look for at both events as over 80 FFCC ensembles take to the floor this weekend:
- The Cadet ensembles from Liberty Middle School, Seminole Middle School, and Northside Christian School will meet again. All 3 teams are having successful seasons and represent that the future is bright for color guard in Florida.
- Weeki Wachee High School makes their first appearance in the AA class after being promoted out of AAA. This change also represents a sheet change for Weeki, as they now find themselves being evaluated on the National A class criteria that is the foundation of AA.
- 9 percussion units make the trek to Seminole to compete again, one week after the Percussion Focus West show. Though seeding for Championships is already set, these ensembles will look for additional feedback to improve their programs over the next 4 weeks.
At Fleming Island:
- In the Winds Independent World Division, Project Arts makes an appearance at this show. The spectators at Fleming Island will get a first-hand look at this new and exciting activity in the FFCC.
- A full complement of 12 ensembles will compete in the Class B division. For many of the teams this performance represents their final FFCC performance of the season.
- Nease High School appears at Fleming Island in the Scholastic World class. Coming off a strong showing at the WGI Tampa Regional, Nease’s performance will be a definite treat for the crowd at Fleming Island.
Full schedules and performance orders for these events can we found on www.ffcc.org. Take in an FFCC event this weekend. What a great opportunity to see so many great performances in one place!
With the completion of the FFCC Focus Events, percussion ensembles in Scholastic Marching AA and
Scholastic Marching A have been seeded into performance blocks for FFCC Championships. Those two classes have 9 or more participants in them and are subject to seeding. All other Percussion and Winds’ classes of competition have less than 9 participants, which means ensembles in those classes will compete in Daytona based on a random draw of performance order.
In the two classes subject to seeding, a seeding number was calculated based on each ensemble’s score received at the Percussion Premiere Show, as well as the highest score they received at an FFCC Focus Event (Prelims or Finals). Ensembles that competed in the first FFCC Focus event on February 20th, also received an addition of two points to their focus score to account for growth units experience over time, and equalize their score with the units who competed at the Focus event on February 27th.
Scholastic AA and Scholastic A will be divided into three blocks based on these seeding scores. Within those blocks, each ensemble will be placed in a performance order based on a random draw completed by FFCC Event Manager, Trevor Cox and observed by unaffiliated FFCC Board Members. Once this draw is complete, the actual performance schedule for FFCC Percussion and Winds Championships will be released.
Here are the Scholastic AA and Scholastic A performance blocks (in alphabetical order) for FFCC Championships in Daytona:
Scholastic Marching AA:
Block 1 (performs last):
Bell High School
Cape Coral High School
Ocoee High School
Strawberry Crest High School
Countryside High School
Lanier County High School
South Lake High School
Block 3 (performs first):
Largo High School
Osceola High School
Wiregrass Ranch High School
Scholastic Marching A:
Block 1 (performs last):
Fleming Island High School
Lowndes High School
Sunlake High School
Wharton High School
Lake Minneola High School
Olympia High School
Seminole High School
Block 3 (performs first):
Gaither High School
Sebring High School
Timber Creek High School
Any questions on the seeding process can be referred directly to Tom Slaughter, FFCC Chief Judge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FFCC is pleased to announce the Martha Stark Memorial Scholarship and Kevin Paulus Sportsmanship Award applications are now LIVE! The deadline for both of these prestigious awards is Friday, March 11, 2016 at 11:59PM. All applications must be complete and received before the deadline to be considered. If you have any questions regarding the application process or these awards, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
For further information or to apply for the Martha Stark Scholarship, please click here.
For further information or to nominate a team for the Kevin Paulus Sportsmanship Award, please click here.