NHS percussion ensemble takes first at finals

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The Naugatuck High School percussion ensemble won first place in the ensemble category at the Musical Arts Conference Winter Percussion Finals April 13. –CONTRIBUTED
The Naugatuck High School percussion ensemble won first place in the ensemble category at the Musical Arts Conference Winter Percussion Finals April 13. –CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck High School’s percussion ensemble beat out a win in the ensemble category at the Musical Arts Conference Winter Percussion Finals April 13.

The ensemble earned a score of 89.4 out of 100 to secure first place, Naugatuck High senior and winter percussion ensemble captain Austin Anderson said.

According to Anderson, the win falls in line with how the rest of the season had been going for the ensemble.

“We had a completely undefeated season, and I am proud to have the opportunity to be a part of it,” Anderson wrote in an email. “We practiced for about 12 hours a week starting in late December and competed in about five competitions, which we won all of them.”

Anderson explained the entire ensemble plays a variety of percussion-based instruments.

“We use instruments ranging from the simple triangle, all the way up to an instrument called a marimba, which is like a xylophone the size of a twin bed,” Anderson wrote.

Anderson said the show the ensemble performed, called “Fire and Ice,” featured students who were both familiar and new to percussion instruments.

“Our ensemble is made up of 17 musicians, some of them who have never played percussion instruments before. Some people never played any instrument before, while others may have played things like flute, or trombone, which is nothing close to the percussion instruments we play in the ensemble,” Anderson wrote.

Anderson was thankful for the guidance from the ensemble’s instructors — Matthew Richter, Robert Wilcox, Robert Hughes, Donny Benet and Erin McLaughlin.

“Without their dedication and support, our season could not have been nearly as successful as it turned out to be,” Anderson said.

As Anderson wraps up his season with the ensemble, as well as his high school career, he is pleased with his decision to have been part of it.

“Joining this ensemble was a life changing experience for me, and I am extremely proud to say that my senior year in it was a great success thanks to all of the members involved.” Anderson wrote.