Age of the Ancients

The row of marimba players waits for the count-off to start so the show can begin. The second row of keyboards waits anxiously on them for the cue to bring their mallets up. The rack players stand near their cymbals and drums to begin the entrance rolls and effects. The center marimba remembers the tempo and moves its mallets up and down to signal the performance is starting. Everyone brings their mallets and drumsticks up and the show begins.

Every year the Clements High School percussion program participates in the Texas Color Guard Circuit, where they perform a show made to compete with other ensembles across Texas. Last year, Clements took home first place in the division. This year the CHS percussion ensemble was moved to a more competitive class, so a lot of practice and an effective show would be needed. The show this year was called “The Age of Ancients.” The music was based on the likes of dark fantasy video games, like Dark Souls and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The instrumentation was that of five marimbas, four vibes, one glockenspiel, one xylophone, two racks, a set of timpani, and two synths (which were used to play sound effects throughout the show).

“After last year and our accomplishments, I was really excited and looking forward to a more competitive class and where we could take our performance within it,” junior Holden Cox said.

Every week, starting the spring semester, there were rehearsals every Tuesday and Thursday to get the most practice before the State Championship on April 15th.  Throughout the semester leading up to the big finals, there were also smaller competitions, such as Winter Guard International (WGI) to get more experience and feedback from judges to make the show the best it could be for the final performance.

“After a few competitions, we finally finished learning all of the parts of our show. Since the other schools had finished their shows early, they hit a skill ceiling while we kept getting better. I had a lot of confidence going into our state competition” senior Kyle Le said. 

 When it came time for the TCGC State Championship, the percussion ensemble members felt ready, and they took off to College Station to perform at Reed Arena. There were four other ensembles in the Scholastic Concert Open division to compete against this year: Klein Collins, Jordan, Magnolia, and Sharyland. Last year there was only one other competitor. 

“Going into the final competition I was really worried since we got beat by Sharyland at WGI,” senior Jade Tsang said.

Luckily, there was no need to be worried because when it came time to perform, Clements put on their best show of the season and took home the first-place award in the state division with a score of 90.150.

“I feel that this was a great way to finish out the year and the whole team came together on the last run,” freshman Chris Li said.