By David Morris
By David Morris
For the second time in four years Riverside Community College’s Winter Guard Drum line left Winter Guard International championship with a gold medal in its pocket.
On April 14, RCC Drum line entered Dayton, Ohio beside 165 other drum lines throughout the world.
Winter Guard International sponsors 23 regional contests across the United States and Europe and each drum line must compete in at least one to qualify for the championship.
For the first time, the organization had to split its competition into two separate weekends, April 7-9 for the 311 color guard units and April 14-16 for the 165 percussion units from all over North America, the Netherlands and England.
According to the Director of the Marching Band for RCC, Gary Locke, the adjudicators for the organization loved RCC this season, RCC Drum line was winning shows this season by 4 or 5 points, when they are usually decided by tenths of a point.
Locke said they received 396 out of a possible 400 points in General Effects and the only area where they received less then a first place score was in Visual, mainly because the drum line was break dancing and the judge found it hard to quantify the performance. When the last line came back and everybody waited for the judges to tally up the final scores RCC came out on top, earning the second highest score in championship history, missing the top score by one tenth of a point.
According to Locke, while waiting for the awards ceremony to begin, a spectator said, “Man, this was a great contest. Everybody brought the heat tonight.”
Coming into finals RCC was trailing Rhythm X, a Drum line from Columbus Ohio, by .45 points in preliminary competition.
According to WGI.org, when the dust settled North Coast Academy finished 5th with 93.10 points, Blue Knights walked out with 94.35 points, Music City Mystique with 95.25, and Rhythm X finishing at 2nd with 96.70 points and RCC Drum line flashing the gold with 97 points.
RCC Drum line now has earned two gold and two silver in the last four years, respectfully.
In sharp contrast to last years show titled “The Apple,” this year utilizes bold slashes of color on a white floor.
RCC Drum line took a look at the essence of pop culture with an original composition by Sean Vega and Jim Wunderlich entitled “Manifest Destiny.”
“Very innovative, never seen before in winter Drum line,” said Kurt Kilgus, a baritone player in RCC winter pep band.
Locke attributed their success at the championship partly to the staff, whose job is to prepare the students for the season ahead.
According to Locke the staff was more organized, started sooner in preparation for the season, was more efficient in its execution and dedicated.
The rest of the success came in part because RCC’s Drum line utilized more movement and even a break dance at the end which the crowd erupted in applause.
“The show was based around Southern California pop culture. It was a very cool show and the performance at Dayton was perfect,” said snare section leader Fernando Miller. “Everything was let go at that moment.” He was confident that RCC was going to take gold this year because the percussionists love what they do and they are professionals who just do their job.
RCC’s Drum line is known to the world, appearing in the Tournament of Roses Parade, Macy’s Parade as well as parades in London, Paris, Dublin, Tokyo and Melbourne.
“The Finals performance is the final expression of all the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the project,” Locke said.