NUTLEY, NJ - The NHS Indoor Percussion recently presented a friends and family preview of their Winter 2020 program, “Graveyard Game.”

The show depicts the story of three girls playing a game in a graveyard—in director Julia Wehrer’s words, “think Jumanji, but in a graveyard.” This game unleashes some evil spirits, played by the drumline and the pit. Wehrer says that “the kids are always a fan of ‘dark shows,’ so we wanted to do a dark show with a fun twist. That’s why we made it a game.”

Despite the fact that the show is not yet complete—Wehrer says it's about 75% done, and the props aren’t yet completed—the effect is very clear. The group has some time to finish preparing the show before their first competition in Trumbull, Connecticut, on February 29. The group took some time off this week as the students involved in the instrumental program will be in California for the annual band trip.

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This is going to be a very big year for the program, which has grown to nearly 30 students since its inception four years ago. The group is going to Dayton, Ohio in April, to compete in the WGI World Championships. Wehrer said of the competition, “We’re really excited to go out to Dayton, Ohio for WGI World Championships. It’s the biggest indoor competition in the world, and the fact that we’re even able to go is a huge honor.”

This is the program’s fourth year, and it is Wehrer’s fourth year as the percussion director at NHS. She is very emotionally attached to this season in particular. She says, “This being my fourth year here, the seniors were the freshmen that I started with. It’s exciting to see them in their senior year.”

Seniors Sofia Torres and Caitlyn Yozzo also spoke about this particular season. Torres told TapINTO, “I’ve been here since the beginning, and I’ve watched the program grow to where it is because of our director, Julia. I’m proud to be able to be here my senior year.” Yozzo said, “It’s weird being a senior that was here when the program started. Being a part of this program when we were considered nothing, and now going to compete among the best of the world is crazy. It’s all the people who graduated who gave us this opportunity.”

Pit tech and composer Nick Peters also spoke on that point, saying that “it’s a big year for the group, but it wouldn’t be possible without the previous members,” to which Drum tech and composer Connor Horwath added, “and the parents!”

Horwath also said, “we’re excited to finish the show and get out to Dayton, Ohio in April,” an excitement that is shared by all of the students in the ensemble. They will be competing against the best indoor percussion groups in the world. WGI (World Guard International)  Championships take place from April 15 through April 18, 2020.

Because the props are not yet complete, Wehrer requested that no pictures of the show be shared online. There will be many pictures and videos available once the show is completed and performed on February 29 at Trumbull High School in Trumbull, Connecticut.