Mt. Vernon Indoor Percussion Places First at State

Hannah Elstro, MVC writer and photographer

At around 11:30 PM on April 1st, 2023, Mt. Vernon’s Indoor Percussion group competed at Indiana State University Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Indiana, in the Indiana Percussion Association’s (IPA’s) State Finals competition.

They started at 6:00 AM, practicing until 6:30 AM, when they loaded up equipment into the trailers, ate, put on makeup, did their hair, and left for the Hulman Center, a close to two hour bus ride. Once they got there, they unloaded the equipment. The warm up for the Hulman Center was outside, where winds were high and temperature were low. After the warm up, the members of the ensemble actually warmed up inside, waiting to perform. 

At around 11:30 AM, they performed their show, “Red Planet.” “Red Planet” is a percussion ensemble piece composed by Kevin Shah and arranged by Mt. Vernon’s Indoor Percussion director, Marissa Turney. Other assistant directors of Mt. Vernon’s Indoor Percussion program include Micheal Ahearn, Jack Doerges, and Jaclyn Nason. After loading the equipment back up onto the trailer for transport, students were allowed to watch other groups perform until the awards ceremony.

At about 4:00 PM awards for the competition were announced. Finals have a full retreat, meaning that every person in the program goes onstage for the awards. There were thirteen Indoor Percussion groups, including Mt. Vernon’s Indoor Percussion program. 

Mt. Vernon’s Indoor Percussion program placed first in Concert Class A. Awards include a large plaque in the shape of Indiana, gold medals for each performer, a certificate, a banner, and a traveling trophy, which Mt. Vernon High School will hold until next year’s IPA Finals. This is a huge accomplishment for Mt. Vernon’s Indoor Percussion program, and will be the first time the group has won since 2002. 

The program also received an outstanding score, breaking the 90’s and getting the highest score in the entire competition. Getting a score in the 90’s means that the group has demonstrated high enough level skills that they could compete in the class above them, and, based on the score, Mt. Vernon’s Indoor Percussion program will most likely be moved up to the next class for competition during the 2023-2024 season. 

Mt. Vernon’s Indoor Percussion program takes part in Indiana’s state competitions only, competing in Indiana Percussion Association’s (IPA’s) Concert Class A. This means that the IPA Finals was the last competition of the year for the group. However, the group does perform their most recent show each year at the end of the year band concert, known as Extravaganza. Tickets and dates will be available closer to the end of the school year for anyone interested in watching.