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Arizona percussion ensemble ready to break through the glass

Breakthrough Indoor Percussion will travel to Dayton, Ohio for WGI World Championships


Breakthrough Indoor Percussion performs at Breakthrough’s annual send-off show at Gilbert High School in Gilbert, Arizona, on Saturday, April 14, 2018.

An Arizona drumline group with a large contingent of ASU students will travel to Dayton, Ohio to participate in an international competition. 

The WGI World Championships host percussion groups from all over the world every year, creating an opportunity for groups that only compete within their region to see how they perform on an international level. Breakthrough Indoor Percussion is one of those groups this year.

Evan Solomon, bass section leader for Breakthrough and junior in philosophy and political science, will be going to Dayton with Breakthrough for the fourth time.

“It’s really cool, because all of these drummers from all over the country show up to this little town in the middle of Ohio for a week,” Solomon said.

He said Dayton's residents and businesses are very welcoming and excited to have this many drummers in their town. 

“It’s the biggest event in the town all year,” he said.

That said, Dayton's relatively small size poses some logistical challenges.

“Everywhere you go to eat, everywhere you go to rehearse, you’re fighting other groups for parking lots,” he said.

Solomon said the process of getting equipment across the country proves to be a hassle as well. 

“We take everything we own and break it down as much as we can,” he said. "We put it into one Penske truck and take it all the way to Dayton.” 

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When the group arrives at their hotel, they go outside and reassemble all of the broken-down equipment and put half of it in another truck that they rent in Dayton, he said.

However, Solomon also said, “the entire town is full of drummers and everyone is hanging out and having a good time.”

Liz Delgado, snare drummer for Breakthrough and junior in biomedical engineering, said this year’s show is far different from what Breakthrough usually puts on the floor.

“It’s been very fast-paced, but I think it’s brought a freshness to the show,” she said. “The vibe is really positive this year since we have a lot of new members – we’ve been able to find a good ‘family’ vibe.”

This show is the culmination of a season's work for Breakthrough.

“That’s what you work for the entire season,” she said. 

The payoff of finally making it to the end and playing that last show is her favorite part of the championships. 

Delgado's hoping to do her absolute best in Dayton because it marks her last year with Breakthrough, she said. 

“I want to know that for the entirety of the Dayton weekend, I was there focused and making sure that within every second of those last performances, I'm giving it 100 percent,” she said.

Nichole Camacho, a freshman in astrophysics and marimba player for Breakthrough, is excited and hopeful for the trip to the World Championships.

“I’m really excited. I’ve worked so hard this season to be able to make this show as great as it can be,” she said.

She said she feels confident in where Breakthrough is ending their season, and that she's especially excited to spend time with the other drummers. 

“They’re so sweet, super nice. They’re all funny and quirky, and I love them to death,” she said.

Camacho said she is looking to gain a new sense of determination from this trip.

“I’m going to see these groups that I still fangirl about,” she said, hoping the experience of competing at the World Championships will motivate her to improve her playing skills.

Breakthrough has placed as high as fifth in WGI World Championships. All three of these members are beaming with hope and excitement for what this year holds.

“(World Championships) is one of the best experiences from a marching percussionist’s standpoint. You get to see the best of the best throwing down on the world stage,” Solomon said.

Reach the reporter at or follow @jsphprzprof on Twitter.

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