Plainfield – The D202 Indoor Percussion group placed 14th out of 15 finalists at the 2023 WGI Percussion World Championships in April in its second year.
The 26-member group competed in the event in Dayton, Ohio on April 20-22, 2023.
The organization includes three eighth graders, students from Plainfield High School-Central Campus, Plainfield North High School, and Plainfield East High School.
The group also won the Chicago regional event in Class A in February. Last year the group didn’t make it into the world finals.
The organization is made up of students in eighth through 12th grade from any District 202 school, said Chris Vanderwall, the group’s executive director and band director at PHSCC.
“If there’s a place for a student to successfully contribute to the group we will find a spot for them,” Vanderwall said.
D202 Indoor Percussion features percussion instruments including snare drums, quads, cymbals, bass drums and a front ensemble of marimba, vibraphone, piano and a drum set.
Students performed their six-minute show "Moto Perpetuo" in a gymnasium for a group of eight judges at the world championships.
Plainfield North High School senior Will Campbell is this year’s sectional leader of the snare section.
“Walking and playing on the WGI Finals Floor is something I think everyone should experience,” he said.
“It just changed me, and I think I’m so much better now.”
PNHS junior Ava Coyne is this year’s section leader of the front ensemble.
Her role in the ensemble helped her overcome shyness and made her more confident, she said.
Coyne also became a leader for the younger students in the group.
“They want to reach a standard that I set for indoor (percussion) through my leadership, so I try to help them, and I’ve seen the growth in these younger kids during the season,” she said.
Vanderwall and ensemble director John Kelly also have seen growth in the student musicians including in their percussion and showmanship skills.
“It’s really nice to see kids from different Plainfield schools come together work together and achieve a common goal, without worrying about competing with each other or worrying about which school is the best school,” Vanderwall said.
Auditions for the group are in November. Details: 202indoorpercussion.org.
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Heather Whisler - Principal