Going Fourth

Winter Percussion earns fourth place finish at championships and celebrates its growth


Visual line members senior Sam Sharrard, sophomores Kayla Gundersen and Nikki Eby, and freshman Jules Reyes-Mohassel move around percussionists as part of the black hole.

Ava Stark, Arts Editor

Branham’s Winter Percussion took fourth place out of 13 groups in the Northern California Percussion Alliance championship at the Stockton Arena on Saturday.

The group earned a score of 81.788, a four-point jump from their most recent competition a week prior. Some of the high schools that they competed against included American Canyon, Laguna Creek, Castro Valley, and Santa Teresa.

While the team has been consistently earning first-place finishes throughout the season, percussion captain Bren Baker said that their fourth place seemed like a bit of a letdown at first.

“Then I remembered how much fun we had while performing and how significantly our score improved from our last competition,” said Baker. “Our progress and our satisfaction with our performance is more important than a ranking and I’m still incredibly proud of our placement.”

Junior and marimba player Sofia Pearson said that she enjoyed performing in the arena, which can seat 12,000 fans.

“There was a bigger audience than we’re used to,” she said, “so it was really thrilling.”

Their show, “Gravity,” uses visual performers to move around materials in space. Pearson said that her favorite moment of the show takes place right before the ending.

“The ending has a huge buildup and then there’s just so much energy,” said Pearson. “There’s so much behind our facial expressions.”

Baker has high hopes for the program after he graduates, and said that he is proud of what the team has accomplished.

“It’s crazy to think about who I was when I started doing Winter Percussion in comparison to the performer and person I am now,” Baker said. “This activity is such a unique experience and it will be over before you know it, so it’s important to take the time now to enjoy it and make memories together.”