The second and final week of the FFCC Percussion Focus Shows followed up on the stellar performances that happened during week one. Gaither High School was the site as 20 of the FFCC’s Percussion and Winds Ensembles came together for the west coast version of the Focus Events. The teams were ready and did not disappoint the spectators who attended.
In the Winds Competition, Phathom Winds and Project Arts performed and finalized their qualification for the first ever FFCC Winds Championship in Daytona Beach on April 2nd. In addition, East Lake High School qualified for Daytona in the Concert Open class, while Unity Percussion (PIA), Newsome High School (PSO), and Ancient City Ensemble (PIO) all also punched their tickets for Daytona and will now use the feedback and experience gathered at the Focus show to prepare for the competition that awaits them at FFCC Championships.
Scholastic AA and Scholastic A were the classes with multiple ensembles competing, and battling for seeding spots in Daytona. The competition was fierce as all the teams stepped up the intensity in finals to put together a highly entertaining show that leaves everyone anxious awaiting FFCC Championships.
In Scholastic AA, Bell High School took top honors with a finals score of 73.6. Cape Coral High School finished in 2nd with a score of 72.3. 3rd place went to Wiregrass Ranch HS, with a score of 70.6, which represented a huge 14.25 point jump in score for this team since Percussion Premiere. In fact, the growth for all AA ensembles since Premiere sets up for a great show to occur in Daytona.
Scholastic A also was fiercely competitive. Wharton High School (featured on the front page image) took top honors in Scholastic A with an impressive score of 80.8, performing their program “Stuck in the Matrix”. Wharton’s Director Doug Moser commented, “Our students worked very hard over the last two weeks to put the final minute and a half of music and drill on the floor. The opportunity to perform the entire show for the first time in a gym and for an audience was incredibly exciting for everyone. The fact the judges recognized our students’ efforts in such a positive way is very humbling.”
Sunlake High School took a close second place in Scholastic A, with a score of 79.05. Michaela Devlin, a Senior in the Sunlake bass line talked about her team’s day and two performances of their 2016 production, “Time’s Passage”. “Focus is one of my favorite competitions because it gives the group a chance to perform in front a crowd, practice with a time line, and warm up in the lot two times. Our group was so proud walking off the floor after our finals performance, and we had lots of fun throughout the day. Championships is coming up quickly and the month of March is when we need to really start maxing out our show, so I’m looking forward for the practices and shows we have coming up that will help set us up for our best performance ever in Daytona.”
We asked Doug Moser his impressions of the focus event, and what the performances meant to his ensemble as they go through their first season in the FFCC. “This season has been full of new experiences already. The Prelims/Finals format of today’s Percussion Focus show seemed daunting at first, but our students really rose to the challenge and acted like pros. We are very grateful to the FFCC for providing opportunities like this, and bringing in world-class judges that root for you and want to help you succeed. The experience and the feedback will surely set us up for success gearing up for FFCC Championships!”.
All Percussion and Winds teams will now take their Focus experience and look ahead to Championships. Plan on being in Daytona Beach on April 1st through 3rd to see all of the percussion, color guard and winds ensembles in the FFCC perform in a grand championship on the grand stage of the Ocean Center.