The hive

On Sun., Mar. 2, junior Tony Corona, plays bells and crotales in the Independent Marching World group, Dark Sky Percussion, at the Downey High School Gym. “I first joined the group to play the cymbals in the battery,” Corona said, “ but then I got switched to the front ensemble to play the bells and crotales.”

Vivian Buenrostro , Co-Editor-in-Cheif

On Sun., Mar. 2, the Independent World Percussion Ensemble, Dark Sky, performed their 2014 show, The Hive, in the DHS gym, with featured performances from the Independent World Color Guard, Diamanté, and duet percussionist, BYOS.

DHS music director, Mr. Fell got into contact with Dark Sky’s music director, Seth Woodard, after hearing about three of his percussionists making the program.

“We’re always looking for a place to perform,” Woodard said. “I talked to Matt [Fell] about it and he was totally cool with it, so we came down.”

The eventful evening began with BYOS featuring Ralph Nader on snare drum and Amir Oosman on drum set. A remix of “Telegraph Ave.” by Childish Gambino played aloud on the speaker followed by crisp licks allowing the two to coexist and perform a live remix. The two exchanged occasional glances to reassure that they were in sync with each other’s rhythms. The opening act kept the audience entertained with vibrating bass drops and drum stick tricks while indirectly previewing the night’s theme: dependence.

Music director, Seth Woodard took the floor and announced marimba player, Cameron Figueroa. His solo performance featured a piece by French composer, Claude Debussy.

His performance was followed by Diamanté’s show titled, In Cold Blood which was based off of the murders from Truman Capote’s novel. A dark piano melody began to play as the dancers balanced swords on the balls of their feet while lying down, followed by lethargic movements to a corner of the mat. The mood intensified as the plot progressively thickened. Their sudden movements, in-character facials and the symbolic red pistol figuratively told the story of In Cold Blood within a seven-minute performance.

“They’re definitely a group our [DHS] color guard looks up to,” Junior Paulina Redford said. “Their show makes me want to practice that much harder.”

After their performance, Seth Woodard introduced Dark Sky and explained the meaning behind their show, The Hive.

“Basically this show’s overall idea is that you need everyone’s help and you can’t get through things alone,” Woodard said.

Their show began with an interlude saying, “No man is an island, no man goes his way alone,” followed by a single snare player using a brush to keep time on the head of his drum and the entrance of the front ensemble’s rapid melody. Similar to busy bees, the drummers quickly dispersed to all parts of the mat, which is designed with a honeycomb pattern. Their visuals emphasized unity; the tenor drums stood in a diagonal line using the neighboring drums to play their lick. In the second movement, another interlude played, “Now more than ever, we need each other,” while the bass drummers held hands with the cymbal players. They finished their performance with a fortissimo note in unison.

Sophomore Julian Rojas spoke about the program after his performance. “I’ve gained experience as a musician,” Rojas said. “It’s taught me how to balance my time well because I still have to make time for homework, practice, family and friends.”

Dark Sky is a nonprofit youth organization established to aid in developing individual and team excellence through music performance. The program consists of young musicians, 22 or younger, who come from throughout California to audition for a spot. The group primarily competes in Southern California and attends Worlds annually, going against other indoor percussion groups. Dark Sky’s show, The Hive, has yet to complete their three-movement show. Their next performance is Sat., Mar. 8 at Colony High School.