United Percussion is the flagship of United Percussion and Arts. United Percussion and Arts is dedicated to the development of young performers of all ages through the visual and performing arts. We are committed to expansion of the social, intellectual, artistic and musical talents of our members. We strive to create an environment of learning that will strengthen the community and mold our members into the leaders of tomorrow.
United Percussion was formed in 2003 as a joint venture between two local drum lines. In its first year of competition, United received the WGI bronze medal in Open Class. From there, United began to build upon its early competitive success. In 2004, the group expanded its membership and traveled to San Diego, CA for WGI World Championships. That year, the unit placed 4th in Open Class. In 2005, the unit received the bronze medal for its show "Energy." 2006 was the unit's largest ensemble to date and the group received 5th place at WGI World Championships.
The off season from 2006-2007 sparked a new beginning and a change in direction. The change in staff and direction saw the group achieve its first gold medal at the 2007 WGI World Championships. United's show "Xtreme," is still one of the most popular shows ever.
2008 saw the group achieve WGI World Class Finalist status with its vibrant program "Fusion." 2009 saw another big shift in the direction of the ensemble. The unit was faced with different practice facility, different instructional staff, and large change in membership. With that came the opportunity for a different kind of production. The group decided to take a stance against Racism with its ground-breaking production "One." Although the season saw very slow and difficult beginnings, it would be the most rewarding experience to date. United rode the success of the show to a 6th place finish at World Championships. United became one of only a handful of groups to jump 7 places in one year.
2010 saw the continuation of the groups new momentum with its emotionally charged program "Eternal." Eternal would prove to be one of the unit's strongest programs in its history. Pushing the level of idiomatic drumming, floor design and emotional intrigue, the group maintained its top 6 status and solidified itself as a perennial world class finalist.
The following year, United expanded its membership yet again and began a pursuit for the individual "Pathway to Greatness." Behold! would become one of United's most iconic and inspiring shows to date. The program featured a tarp with photos of historical icons, surrounding the pathway to greatness.
In 2012 United went in an entirely new direction with its innovative production entitled NOW.
NOW featured United's largest ensemble ever. The show used 3 Rock Concert style projection screens and several multimedia devices to play and record moments in the show. One of the more memorable moments was a real "live" feed and when the unit projected the members of the audience into the program.
In 2013 the unit took a serious look at the issue of "faith." The unit performed to a classically based musical soundtrack and UP'd the quality of its multimedia production. The program featured a non traditional floor with several altars and an interactive video wall with 100% HD content. Beautiful Golds and Coppers trimmed the uniforms and drums, creating stunning visual effect. Faith was one of a kind in terms of the level of production.
2014's "Fearless" production was an introspective look into our daily choices in regards to the unknown. Using our HD video wall, risers, ladders, and WGI's new black performance tarp, United was able to integrate the design into the arena like never before.
"The Art of it All" continued the evolution of the ensemble as a World Class innovator in 2015 with another production that closely ties to our mission. Quotes from Aaron Copland and Martha Graham, and our largest ensemble ever helped tell the story of the Artist inside us, in times of struggle and elation.
Our 43 member ensemble presented an emotionally riveting production entitled "We Shall Remain" in 2016. Using a visual ensemble cast for the first time, United told the story of the Native American "Trail of Tears" and Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policy, remembering the past, and looking forward to a better future.
Also in 2016, United Percussion celebrated a landmark performance at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Performing "Rise Up" with Andra Day, United was seen on network television and in person by millions around the world.
United Percussion's 2017 program "Sir Isaac's Wonder" captivated the audience as we explored the many aspects of the force that keeps us grounded, yet inspires us to aim for the sky. United Percussion also returned to the top 10 of the Independent World Class in it's 15th anniversary season.
In 2018, United once again presented a program based on true events. "The Last Days of Night" was inspired by the invention that changed the way we see and experience the world -- the light bulb. Drawing from the brilliance of historical giants, and using custom made LED light poles, United explored the thrilling race to illuminate and electrify America.
United Percussion has been a proud member of the WGI Percussion Advisory Board every year since it's inception. We have also been a WGI World Championships finalist every year in existence (16 years).