On Wednesday, 22 of ’s percussion students are leaving for the Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival at the 2012 Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis. Kell is the first high school to take two percussion ensembles to this invitation-only event.
During the past 10 years, the Kell Percussion Ensemble has grown from two students to more than 35. The all-volunteer ensemble rehearses twice weekly after school plus two Saturdays a month.
The ensemble performed at the 2003 Gatlinburg Music Festival, the 2005 P.A.S. Georgia Day of Percussion, the 2006 Bands of America National Percussion Festival, the 2008-2010 Jacksonville State University Day of Percussion, and the National Education Association National Gala 2010 in Washington, DC, as well as many local concerts and festivals.
The percussion ensemble has performed with the Kell marching band and concert bands at many events, including the National Concert Band Festival 2007, the GMEA Clinic 2008 in Savannah, the 2009 and 2012 JanFest in Athens, and numerous Bands of America regionals from 2004 to 2011.
Many members of the ensemble have been in county and state honor bands. Kell’s annual Night of Percussion and Jazz is a local event attended by band parents, students, faculty and members of the community.
The ensemble has developed a tradition of musical excellence and diversity, having performed compositions by Mark Ford, David Gillingham, Lynn Glassock, Patrick Long, Philip Mikula, David Maslanka, Christopher Rouse and Nigel Westlake. In addition, the ensemble performs original “Stomp” pieces that are written by percussion instructors Sarah and Rick Dietrich.