Winter Percussion Performs to Succeed


Sonia Pacheco Hernandez, Reporter

Selma High School’s winter percussion had their first show on February 11 at Mission Oak High School. From the 20 ensembles competing, their group placed second overall in the high school division.
In order to attain such placement in competitions, this intense activity requires a lot of time and commitment.
“The students rehearse close to nearly 12-14 hours a week (not including personal practice time) to put on a show that is about five and a half minutes long,” says band instructor Ms. Jimenez. “These students meet outside of normal school hours and devote a lot of their personal time to the activity. “
Throughout these practices, one of the aspects that they focus on is the quality of their performances. For example, in sound production, musicianship, rhythmic clarity, uniformity, and ensemble cohesiveness.
However, it is not only limited to these factors as there is much more that plays a part. Respect is also important to everyone because Ms. Jimenez says, “Without mutual respect for everyone, we won’t function as an ensemble.”
Currently, they are working with one of the largest ensembles that Selma High School has ever seen. The detail and stunning complexity of it all can be found in the logistics, moving props, set, costume changes, fast-moving tempos, a visual soloist, hard music, and drill. With all of this in mind, communication plays an important role throughout the group.
“We definitely do need teamwork in order to make things come together so we can prevent any misunderstandings or accidents from occurring,” says Jasleen Ganger, a member of the winter percussion group.
There are seven instructional staff members working with the students regularly. Trying to get the instructors to provide a consistent and successful rehearsal schedule that aligns with other activities on campus has been a challenge for them, especially as most of the instructors commute from the Fresno and Clovis area.
With such a large group, they have student-athletes, AP and honor students, FFA students, ROTC, and choir students involved in winter percussion. As a result, scheduling can be complicated but they overcome these challenges through constant communication and careful planning.
“I think as a group we value just putting our absolute best effort forward for this show and not beating ourselves up about anything,” says Jasleen Ganger. “We all know we have a long way to go and will get better with time and practice. As long as we are passionate about what we do, then we will definitely succeed in the future!”
With the help of the instructor and the efforts of the group, they will always try to put their best foot forward for what is to come.
As the season progresses Ms. Jimenez hopes to see a successful season and to witness the final run at championships.
“These kiddos are performing some very challenging repertoire for this activity and are doing very well,” comments Ms, Jimenez. “They are so young, I can’t wait [for] what we have in store for next year. It really is exciting to see the program and interest grow in this activity.”