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Ayala Drumline’s first 2024 competition: No props, no problem

Percussion+debuts+their+2024+Indoor+Show+As+Above%2C+So+Below+at+Chino+High+School+last+Saturday.+Throughout+the+show%2C+members+not+only+play+their+instrument+flawlessly%2C+but+also+tell+stories+with+expressions+and+movements.+Pictured+from+left+to+right%3A+Nathan+Wong+%2812%29+Garrett+Reynaga+%2812%29.
Tina Wong
Percussion debuts their 2024 Indoor Show “As Above, So Below” at Chino High School last Saturday. Throughout the show, members not only play their instrument flawlessly, but also tell stories with expressions and movements. Pictured from left to right: Nathan Wong (12) Garrett Reynaga (12).

Ayala’s drumline debuted their 2024 indoor percussion show last Saturday, February 17, at the Southern California Percussion Alliance (SCPA) competition held at Chino High School, winning first place in the Percussion Scholastic World class. 

Percussion ended their last season on a high note, becoming the number one in their category, nationally. As this year’s season begins, expectations are higher than ever before and the drumline has managed to not only meet expectations, but exceed them with their first competition performing their 2024 drumline indoor show: “As Above, So Below.” 

“The show is about how people, like yourself, idolize others, putting them on unreachable platforms in their mind,” Visual Ensemble member Joshua Kajiwara (11) said. “However you begin realizing that you, yourself, are better than those idols, and replace them on the top. By doing this, the idols as above, become below.”

The show starts with mystery; drummers and visual members are in different pods, rising and falling to beats. As the front ensemble move to their instruments, the show takes an almost chaotic turn; ensemble members scatter across the floor and ultimately rise in unison. Ayala’s drumline shows are almost always characterized by the uniqueness of ideas and this year is no exception. Instead of wearing their drums in the front, percussion members began playing their drums with them flat on the floor, sliding different instruments around. The theme of darkness and mystery carries throughout the show, apparent in the music and movements. The performance ended with a powerful assemble of percussion and visual members, making audience members curious to what comes next in the show. 

Visual ensemble members depict the show’s storyline with their fierce moments and expressions. Members practice about three times a week to ensure each performance is flawless.
Pictured from left to right: Ava Carr (11), Ian Revilla (12), Joshua Kajiwara (11) (Tina Wong)

As a result of the incredibly well executed music and storytelling in the performance, Ayala gained victory with a total score of 86.300. They won first place in all categories: music effect, visual effect, music, and visual. 

“I feel that our group has really stepped out of our comfort zone and are embodying the characters we put on,” Rhythm Section Leader Angelina Sun (12) said. 

It takes immense skill for all drumline members to be able to pull this year’s show off. The show is demanding, both musically and physically, for members. 

“I love how the show pushes the students and challenges them to a new level,” Battery Captain and Snare Section leader Nathan Wong (12) said. “How involved the movements become on top of playing responsibilities makes it a really fun show to perform.”

Unfortunately, as it was the first competition of the season, there were some technical difficulties regarding show props. The large center prop was unable to fit through the door into the gym where the competition took place, resulting in the drumline needing to perform the show without it. Despite the prop being such an important component of the show, performers were able to adapt to the circumstances, and still complete the show flawlessly, without extra rehearsal. 

Ayala’s drumline is now preparing for their second SCPA competition of the season at Monrovia High School on March 2. If Ayala was able to dominate their class without props, there’s no question they will continue their victory with props in the future competitions. 

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Jiaying Hou, Assistant News Editor
Jiaying Hou (11) is a reporter for The Bulldog Times, and this is her first year on staff. Jiaying hopes to bring forward unique students at Ayala and tell their stories. This year, she is excited to work with other passionate writers and be more involved in school culture. In addition to being a reporter, she is also part of Cancer Awareness Club, ANEA Club, STEAM for Kids, and Leo Club. Outside of school, she is a ballet dancer and enjoys playing both the saxophone and piano. She also loves traveling, playing with her dog, watching documentaries, and replicating her mom’s cooking recipes.
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