Winter Percussion


John Antonelli


Winter Percussion is an extracurricular group that rehearses from November through April and performs in a series of competitions beginning in February.

The Athens Drive H.S. Winter Percussion Line is the indoor complement to the percussion unit of the marching band and is a formal part of our entire band program. Like the marching band percussion section, this indoor group auditions students for battery percussion (marching snares, tenors, basses) and front ensemble instrumentation (mallet instruments, timpani, auxiliary percussion). The group is also looking for a drum set player in addition to pianists to play synthesizer. To be chosen as a member of the Winter Percussion Line is an honor and performing as part of this group is a privilege. The group rehearses from mid-November through mid-April and performs in a series of competitions beginning in late February. Any Athens Drive student is welcome to participate (you do not need to be currently involved in the band program); however, the ability to read music is a prerequisite. John Antonelli is the lead staff instructor.


  • The Winter Percussion Line is open to all current seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen.
  • A positive attitude must be demonstrated at all times as reflected in the quality of the work and the relationships with other members of the unit. Students must be trusted to work independently and be able to work together in small and large groups. Students must also be willing to spend the extra time required to set up and store away equipment used in rehearsals/performances.
  • Minimal musical competency includes the comprehension and performance of basic rhythms (subdivision to the sixteenth note and syncopation) in 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, and cut time meter. All students must be able to read rhythmic notation; mallet performers must be able to read pitch notation.


It is important to realize that because the group is so interdependent (that is, everyone depends on everyone to be there), any absence or tardy hinders the progress of the group. All percussionists are expected to be at every rehearsal and performance. The schedule of rehearsals and performances is tentative but fairly accurate; the entire schedule will be discussed in detail during the orientation/introductory rehearsal.

Once the schedule is officially agreed upon and confirmed, conflicts with any of the dates must be presented in writing to both the instructors and the parent advisor(s). Email addresses and phone numbers will be distributed at the orientation rehearsals. The instructor reserves the right to prohibit a student from performing due to excessive or unexcused absence.

Performance Expectations

Members will be expected to know the music and choreography before being permitted to perform. This policy will be enforced in the interest of the individual student as well as the entire unit. A member who does not demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in performing part of the show may be asked to perform less work.

Orientation Sessions

The orientation sessions will consist of sight-reading and exercises related to specific instruments. Students who have no previous percussion experience, but who can read music, should not be discouraged from participating. We are especially interested in piano players for mallet instruments.

Instrumental assignments will be determined by the quality and skill of those participating and the needs of the line.

Fair Share Assessment

There is a “fair share obligation” for participating in the Winter Percussion Line because the program is not funded by the county. For all instrumental participants, in order to cover the cost of the instructors, music, choreography, competition entry fees, and select equipment, each member will be assessed:

  1. a non-refundable registration fee of $100
  2. plus an additional financial commitment of $795

Activity buses and/or carpools will be arranged to offset expenses for travel to local competitions. Charter buses will provide travel to out-of-state competitions.

The total $895 obligation may be paid in full at the beginning of the season (12/1) or may be divided up in the following manner:

  • $100 on 12/01 (non-refundable registration fee)
  • $200 on 12/15
  • $200 on 1/15
  • $200 on 2/15
  • $195 on 3/15

Financial assistance is available through the booster organization for students who demonstrate need; however, assistance is often contingent on a willingness to participate in fundraising activities and past records of service. No student should be discouraged to join due to financial obligation; we will assist every family willing to contribute their “fair share.”


Upon deciding to participate in the Winter Percussion Line, each student—new and returning– must complete and submit the online “Winter Percussion Intent Form” along with a $100 non-refundable deposit by Wednesday, Dec 1st  (checks payable to the Athens Drive Band Boosters). The form is located on the Forms page of our website ( as well as the Winter Percussion page (located under the Performance Groups tab). Students/families with credit in their band account can have this deposit deducted by indicating so on the form. The $100 registration fee will be applied toward the total overall Winter Percussion Line assessment.

If you have any general questions about the Winter Percussion program – please contact Percussion Support at

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