This year we are excited to announce the creation of a 7/8 Winter Percussion Ensemble. This ensemble will be comprised entirely of 7/8 students and will compete locally with other middle school ensembles. This ensemble will rehearse directly after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

All 7/8 students – Band, Orchestra, and other 7/8 students not currently in the Instrumental Music Program – are welcome to participate and no previous experience is necessary.

Winter Percussion Ensemble, or “Winter Drumline,” is the winter equivalent of Marching Band. However, instead of wind instruments on a football field, the program consists of percussion instruments inside a gym. Students will perform a four to five-minute show that will revolve around a theme and will have music and drill that coordinates with that chosen theme.

La Canada Winter Drumline PSA 2014 – The Journey Home (Semi-Finals)

La Canada High School 2014 Winter Percussion performance at WGI Championships in Dayton, Ohio. La Canada placed 9th out of over 50 groups from all over the U.S.

Winter Percussion provides students with life skills…

Time management: This is the main skill that Winter percussion teaches. Due to rehearsals being after school twice a week, students must learn to effectively budget their time between rehearsal and homework. This is a valuable skill because the older we get the more responsibilities and commitments we take on.

Team Work: Students will also learn how to work as a team towards a common goal. Many jobs today revolve around working in groups. Many general education academic programs don’t revolve around working in teams and stress the success of the individual over the population. Music is different because everyone contributes to the program and there is no hiding if someone didn’t learn their part or is unsure of the drill. Because of this, students learn to work harder for themselves and others to make sure that they are performing at the best level they can achieve.

The percussion program will be taught, written, and designed by Greg Power, Benjamin Lewis, and Christopher Truitt.

We will be having a parent meeting in the next couple of weeks where we can answer questions and address any concerns. We will also be releasing dates and times for everything, hopefully in the next week, once everything is confirmed.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Stone.

Winter Percussion Staff Bios:

Greg Power: Greg received his Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from Washington State University and is set to finish his Master of Music in Percussion Performance at California State University Northridge in December. Greg was a member of the Cascades (2011-12), Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps (2013-14) and section leader at Pulse Percussion (2015).

Greg is currently the caption head and battery writer at La Canada High School and Front Ensemble Tech at Thousand Oaks High School. Greg assisted the CSUN Percussion Ensemble (2017-2019) and was an Assistant Drumline Instructor at WSU (2013-15). Greg taught the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps (2015) and has been on staff with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps since 2016.

Greg is a member of the Vic Firth educational team and resides in Encino, CA.

Chris Truitt: Christopher Truitt is an educator, composer, and arranger from Fresno, California. He received his Bachelor’s of Music degree from California State University, Northridge in 2015 where he studied Percussion Performance.

Christopher is an active music educator in the Los Angeles area and has been teaching percussion since 2007. He is currently the Director of Bands at St. Genevieve High School and the Front Ensemble Arranger and Manager for La Canada High School.

Christopher has been a composer/arranger since 2013. He has written and arranged music for Marching Band, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, and Indoor Percussion for both Middle School and High School.

His Ensembles have earned prestigious honors including SCSBOA, SCPA, and WBA Finalists, as well as ADLA, SCPA, and WGI Bronze Medalists.

Chris is a member of the Innovative Percussion educational team.

Benjamin Lewis: Currently residing in Pomona, Ben has taught various percussion programs in the past four years ranging in ages from elementary school to high school. He currently teaches at La Canada High School where he serves mainly as the Front Ensemble Instructor and Co-Electronics Designer and Coordinator. Along with La Canada, Ben teaches at Chaminade High School in West Hills serving as the Front Ensemble Manager. Ben has previously worked at Cathedral City High School where he worked as a Front Ensemble Instructor and Electronics Designer and Coordinator. Ben’s previous teaching experiences include Nobel Middle School in Northridge (2015-2016) and St. Genevieve Elementary and High School in Panorama City.

Ben’s performance experience includes POW Percussion (2017) and Pulse Percussion (2018-2019). Ben is currently studying Business Finance, Real Estate, and Law at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Ben is a member of the Planet Waves educational collective.