When I finished my last blog, I planned to write every few weeks but here I am, a few months later, back home in England and trying to fathom where the time went and find the words to describe the last three months. Sitting here now, it is hard to believe everything that has happened and how amazing the experience has been. I imagined before I left that it would all be about performing with Rhythm X and the show but it became about so much more - wonderful new family, fantastic new friends at Lebanon, constantly learning from the incredible knowledge of front line techs, striving to improve to feel worthy of my place amongst such talent and being in constant awe of the genius of the Rhythm X design team.
A video from our friend Mark McCabe.
DAYTON, OH - On April 20, 2013 Rhythm X won its third Independent World Gold Medal at the 2013 WGI Percussion World Championships in Dayton, Ohio. Rhythm X scored a 98.2625, breaking its own previous world record by one point. Previously, the record was set by Rhythm X's 2009 performance of Touch.
Rhythm X performed its 2013 program The Man in the Arena for a sold-out crowd at the University of Dayton Arena. The show, based on an excerpt from a speech by T. Roosevelt featured music from Rachmaninoff's second piano concerto and Survival by Muse.
Rhythm X would like to thank the countless fans, supporters, donors, volunteers, families, and staff for their dedication and support. Also, without the support of our incredible sponsors this season would not have been possible. Thanks to the Pearl Corporation, Adams, Sabian, Fred J. Miller, Inc., Evans Drumheads, Innovative Percussion, D'Addario, Planet Waves, Digimet, and Etymotic Research.
If you haven't seen this yet... Enjoy!
A little further insight into our 2013 production from Ensemble Director TIm Fairbanks and Battery Coordinator Tim Jackson.
You've probably heard by now the title of our 2013 production, The Man in the Arena. We hope that over the next few months you'll learn a lot more about our show. This show is based primarily from an excerpt of a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. Musically, our show has two influences. First is the second movement of Rachmaninoff's second piano concerto and second is Survival by Muse!
Going to WGI for a 16 year old British student was never something i could have imagined. I always planned on travelling to the states when I was older, but after being asked to audition and being offered a vibe spot, I could hardly refuse! This was the opportunity I’d been hoping for several years and it was happening! The actual reality of it didn’t properly hit me until about a week before i was due to set off for America, and the realisation that I was actually going to the USA to march WGI with Rhythm X was huge.
However, before this, I had lots to sort out. School (Bradford Grammar School) were extremely supportive of me and my trip, and they agreed to set up liaisons in the US and to email work (For GCSE’s) to me to complete and return to school to be graded. Also, there was the matter of clothes and suitcases to worry about, and i also had my music through from Rhythm X to get on with leaning. Along with relearning the usual warm-ups i was familiar with on marimba, but for vibe, the show music was arriving piece by piece and it was everything i expected and wasted no time getting round to leaning it. And, of course, i needed some place to live for the three months of my stay. Andrew Markworth put me in contact with a 17 year old member of the X snare line and Spirit of Atlanta (now Bluecoats) member, Ryan Ellis and his family. They, very kindly, agreed to put me up for the duration of my stay and this was the last item to sort before my departure.
It had been decided it would be best for me to arrive at X rehearsals in mid-late January, and my flight was booked for the 24th, leaving Manchester in the morning and arriving at Cincinnati that evening after a three hour change over in Atlanta. As the date drew closer, my excitement just grew and grew. When the day finally arrived, i was ecstatic (and slightly nervous about figuring out my way around the huge Atlanta airport) and after saying goodbyes to my family (including a withering wreck of a mother) i was on my way! I was on the plane within an hour, and I had a comfortable 9 hour long flight.
Atlanta was hectic. After a 2 mile walk through the airport terminals, i reached homeland security. It was at this point that i hit problems. After having my hand scanned, i was asked why i was in the USA, to which i explained about Rhythm X. I was transferred to a secure room with around half a dozen others, and was interrogated as to why and what i was doing in the USA. In the end, i had to show them videos of X on YouTube and go through the rehearsal schedule, show concept, staff team and WGI finals. After an hour of this, i was finally allowed to go, with only two hours to figure out the maze of Atlanta Airport. A lot of running and a subway train later, I arrived at the gate with time to spare for a McDonalds. Another shorter flight brought me to Cincinnati, which was much easier to comprehend, being much smaller.
Want to have a brand new, custom designed, Pearl CarbonCore snare drum or tenor drum set in your house? Starting today, Rhythm X is running a raffle where two grand prize winners will walk home from the WGI World Championships with a brand new drum designed especially for our 2013 program! The drums come fully outfitted with Evans drumheads, and an Innovative Percussion stick bag and pair of Tim Fairbanks Signature marching sticks!