FHS percussion ensembles win state, world championships

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By Jessica Hoover

The Fishers High School Concert A Percussion ensemble and Concert World Percussion ensemble won their respective Indiana Percussion Association State Championships at Ben Davis High School March 30.

Concert World also went on to win the April 10-13 WGI Percussion World Championships in Dayton, Ohio for the second consecutive year. Concert A has 24 students from eighth through 10th grades, and Concert World has 24 students from ninth through 12th grades.

Director of athletic bands at Fishers High School Chad Kohler, who oversees the percussion and color guard program, said the ensembles had been practicing since November 2018 for the state and world championships. The ensembles practiced once a week after school, and the Concert World ensemble also met for 50 minutes each day.

Concert A’s performance for the state championship was “Centrifugal.” It featured a song called “First Circle” and an original piece called “Centrifugal.”

Concert World’s performance for the state and world championship was called “Skin and Bones” and utilized an instrument that the students built themselves, called a Ugandan amadinda.

“The amadinda is an African xylophone, which is an instrument where players play on both sides of the instrument,” Kohler said. “When you play on these instruments, it sounds like you are playing on bones. Different cultures use whatever they have, so they might play on gourds or play on skulls. The premise behind the show was that we are all skin and bones, but as one, we are all one team and one family.”

Kohler said that judges described Concert World’s performance as “seamless” and that it “took them on an emotional journey.” One judge awarded Concert World a perfect score.


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