Indoor Percussion: The Next Step for AAHS Band Percussionists


The full Academy Winter Percussion ensemble stands in position before beginning a practice run.

Picture this. Marching Season is over. Finally, you’re free! Endless hours of practice, no spare time; it was almost like band was your entire life! So what should you do with this newfound freedom?

How about more band?

Academy Winter Percussion is a percussion-exclusive indoor extracurricular that takes place during the winter season. It is a combined program with Air Academy and Pine Creek High School.

The Academy Winter Percussion Front Enesmble works hard to perfect their technique before the upcoming competition season.

This program is for those who not only want to improve their skill massively before the new year of outdoor band, but also for those who want to form new friendships and get more marching and competing experience.

“Being a director for Academy is a way for me to project my love of drumming and percussion onto students and to have the ability to do something more creative with it,” explained Air Academy and Pine Creek Percussion director Eric Kruse. “There’s a creative aspect that you can’t find in outdoor (outdoor marching season), and for the ones who seek that out, you know the love is there.”

“I love having this experience,” said junior Jacob Kuhn. “You get to meet really good people and improve your percussion skills. What’s not to love?”

“It’s focus is much more on individual, in-depth technique as opposed to an ensemble,” finished Kuhn.

Along with Academy Winter Percussion, there are other, more challenging opportunities for aspiring drummers and percussionists available during the winter season. Black Diamond Percussion is a more advanced drum corps organization dedicated to building creative visual technique and honing percussion skill.

“I love having no free time and not being able to sleep in on Sundays,” said junior Kyle Stahl sarcastically. “But for real, I really enjoy the friendships I’ve made and I have learned so much more about music than I ever would’ve imagined.”

“I love the close community and the ability to grow together as a family,” explained junior Alora Swanson. “All around, it provides better learning for percussion instruments so that people can grow and become better at those instruments specifically. It’s much more focused.”

These terrific opportunities are just of the few musicianship improvement possibilities in Colorado Springs after outdoor marching has ended. These programs not only serve to improve percussion skill and technique by miles, but the community built and the friends made will last a lifetime.

The Black Diamond Drumline strikes a dramatic pose in full costume during their first movement.