Tupelo will host indoor guard, percussion show

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Residents will have an opportunity to see a different kind of band performance today.
The Tupelo High School band program is hosting an indoor guard and percussion show at 5 p.m. in the THS gym.
Attendees won’t see trumpets or clarinets, but they will see color guards execute elaborate routines to recorded music. They also will watch percussion groups with drums, keyboards and mallet instruments perform without any brass or woodwind accompaniment.
“The color guard is so much more visually oriented,” THS band director Vance Wigginton said, referring to the indoor guards that perform during the winter months. “You are trying to interpret what you are hearing.
“With no wind instruments, the percussion has to be much more descriptive in its playing. When you take so many elements out and then put it in a venue that is so much closer to the audience, it has to be descriptive to the eye as well as the ear.”
Twenty different units from about 15 or 16 schools will compete, Wigginton said, and each performance will last about four minutes. The color guard competition will be held first, and the percussion will follow.
Admission is $7 and will cover both groups.
Meanwhile, Tupelo’s guard and percussion units have gotten off to a strong start this season, Wigginton said. The school has three color guard units – Vortex, Tupelo Indoor Guard and Tsunami – and one percussion unit, Riptide.
All four are competing on the Southeastern Color Guard Circuit, which encompasses both guard and percussion. Although the circuit features more than 50 other units, all four Tupelo groups won their division at a recent competition in Bowling Green, Ky.
Dale Wigginton directs all three color guards with the help of Lesley Shields and Devon Emig. Tim Matlock leads the percussion groups.
“When competing in a group that large, we thought if they finished in the top half, it would be good, but they did even better than we thought,” Vance Wigginton said.
Tupelo will next compete at Alcorn Central on Feb. 19, and will travel to competitions in Hoover, Ala., and Prattville, Ala., before the circuit championship in Nashville in April.