Science Hill Percussion Ensemble will perform at international conference

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL-TV) – One area high school percussion ensemble were notified about a tremendous honor that they have received.

The Science Hill H.S. Percussion Ensemble recently won the International Call for Tapes hosted by the Percussive Arts Society each year, they accept applicants from all around the world and they select two high school are ensembles and Science Hill High School was chosen to participate this year.

“As far as high school percussion ensemble goes, this is a big as it gets. This is the Oscars for high school percussion ensemble.”, Science Hill Assistant Band Director and Director of Percussion Dan McGuire said.

“It’s huge, I don’t think people realize how big this is. For me, this is the final game of NCAA basketball. There are two people that are selected and Science Hill High School Percussion Ensemble is one of them.”, U.N.C.G. Professor of Percussion Eric Willie said.

The winners of the call for tapes are invited to do a showcase concert featuring that group at The Percussive Arts Society International Convention, which this year will be held in Indianapolis on Friday, November 11. Science Hill also won this opportunity in 2013. After winning, you are not eligible to win again for three years. 2016 was their first year of eligibility to win again.

“There was a lot of happy sounds being made when we announced that they had been selected, the kids were just beyond excited.”, McGuire said.

The Percussion Ensemble consists of much more than the drum line and preparation for this event goes on all year.

“What most people think of when they see the Science Hill Percussion Ensemble, they think of the drum line that they see on Friday nights. However, there is quite a bit more that goes into it.”, McGuire said, “Every student is well versed in all of the keyboard instruments that are behind me right now, each requiring a different technique, and just basically anything you can think of in regards to percussion, that’s something that we do.”

“They’re incredibly disciplined, they’re incredibly motivated and they just have a great sense of pride in what they are doing here at Science Hill High School.”, Willie said, “They’re extremely smart, and they are extremely great musicians, they’re able to pick up all the concepts that I’m throwing to them on the fly and do it immediately.”

The ensemble is hosting a “Percussion Extravaganza” coming up on Sunday, Nov. 6 from 6-8 pm at The Culp Center Ball Room on the ETSU campus. It is a fund raiser featuring a catered dinner, a silent auction followed by the very first performance of their showcase music that will featured at The Percussive Arts Society International Convention later that week. Tickets are $50 and anyone wishing to purchase tickets can find them by visiting and searching for “Science Hill Percussion Extravaganza”.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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