Percussion/Winds Thoughts

by Pat Miller, FFCC Board/Education Committee

Congrats to everyone on your Premiere performance.  The 2023 season is officially underway. We reached out to the judges from Premiere and asked them for a few topics they felt were helpful to share with the membership.  We will publish more of these as we progress through the season. Congrats on the amazing start to your season!

* Communicate to the top of the gym. Make sure you are reminding the performers about communicating to the judges throughout the show. You want the show to reach the entire audience, including the judges who are at the top of the stands. We focus so much at the front end of the season on learning the notes and drill, we sometimes forget to share the experience with the audience.

* Think about how you can involve your front ensemble into the visual production. It makes a big difference when the front ensemble is part of the visual production.

* How close are your marching members to the front ensemble? Make sure you have at least 6-8 feet between your marching performers and your front ensemble. Leave that space open so the audience and judges can see all of the performers moving on the floor.

* Three words – Clean beats dirty! Excellence is Effective. It’s even itemized on the Effect sheet.

* When doing music warm up, add in ability appropriate layers of visual responsibilities.  Think about different facings and head angles with the upper body.  When adding lower body visuals,  a lunge, tendu, or plié can be very effective.  Incorporate these into the warm ups for a well-rounded basics program.

Other items to remember as we move into regular season shows:

  • Continue practicing coming on and off the floor. As the shows get completed this process will need to be more efficient. Assign specific responsibilities to the members so they are comfortable with their role in the process.
  • Getting the show on the floor while cleaning what is already there. Managing time during rehearsals so the show is always moving forward in only production and execution.
  • Uniforms, props, appropriate shoes, hair, what do they wear in warm-up.
  • How are you utilizing student leaders to expedite steps in the process?
  • How effective is your warm-up process, make sure you are setting the performers up for success at every rehearsal and every show

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