MA Youth Percussion Ensemble Qualifies for World Championship Finals


Orleans-based Spirit of America Winter Percussion Ensemble has qualified for the finals in the Independent Marching A Division of WinterGuard (WGI) Sport of the Arts 2013 Percussion World Championships in Dayton, OH, placing second with a score of 93.075. Competing against 29 teams from across the United States, this group of 22 young people (ages 10-22) presented a passionate exploration of life, death, and the promise of rebirth in their show Perpetual Cycles. Finals will take place Friday, April 19 at 9pm at the University of Dayton Arena. Spirit is the defending 2012 World Champion in the Percussion Independent Marching A Division of WGI Sport of the Arts.

In the wake of this week's tragic events in Boston, and on the day before the 18th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, this powerful theme struck a chord with the judges and fans of the 36-year-old organization known as WinterGuard International, dedicated to fostering creativity and life skills in young people. Wearing yellow (the color of joy and hope) and creating complex drill formations while playing precise and explosively energetic music, Spirit reflects the power of people pulling together towards a common goal and the triumph of hope, creativity, and humanity in the face of devastation and death. Wearing armbands to show their solidarity, Spirit is marching in honor of those who were affected by the Boston Marathon bombing this week.

Inspired by music of Latin America, Perpetual Cycles opens with a lively arrangement of Joseph Curiale's Adelina De Maya, moves into a Brazilian batucada (a sub-style of samba), and uses traditional Brazilian instruments such as "repiniques" and "tamborims" to create a carnival atmosphere. The middle section introduces Death with a single tolling chime and four-part ensemble singing, and evolves into an arrangement of a portion of Lamentations of Jeremiah, written by Argentina's Alberto Ginastera. Finally, the group accelerates into section three-New Life-featuring the complex rhythms of Pat Metheny's Third Wind, before coming full circle with a return to Adelina De Maya.

Who: Spirit of America Winter Percussion Ensemble

What: WGI Sport of the Arts 2013 World Championships, Dayton, Ohio

When: Finals take place Friday, April 19, at 9pm

Where: University of Dayton, Arena (live webcast available at

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