FLHS Students Compete in Final Round of WGI World Championships

IMG_9741
Josh Peterson, Chris Love, and Brad Peterson

Flying L seniors Chris Love and Josh Peterson as well as FLHS alum Brad Peterson competed in the 2014 Winter Guard International (WGI) Indoor Percussion World Championships as part of the REEF Independent ensemble. The competition was held on April 10-11 in Ohio at Miami University and the University of Dayton. REEF advanced to the final round and finished in 11th place in the Percussion Independent A (PIA) class.

“It has been a unique experience, unlike any other.” said cymbal player Chris Love. “Early on in the season, many people had doubts about our group. I didn’t realize we would ever make it this far.”

WGI is “the sport of the arts,” providing a venue for young people to achieve the extraordinary through performance and competition. Founded in 1977 and based upon marching band traditions, WGI hosts competitive events for both indoor percussion and color guard ensembles of people ages 14 to 22. More than 36,000 youth participate at the regional level, and more than 12,000 compete at the World Championships.

REEF Finals
REEF Independent performing during the final round of the 2014 WGI World Championships

This is the inaugural season for REEF Independent, founded by director Eric Levy. REEF has spent every Saturday and Sunday (and many Friday nights) since January practicing for and competing in events held by the WGI and the South Florida Winter Guard Association (SFWGA).

REEF’s advancement to the finals round is an extraordinary achievement for a new group. “These kids have been amazing,” said Levy. “They worked so hard, and they truly earned this accomplishment. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Based in Boca Raton, REEF includes students from high schools and universities across Broward and Palm Beach counties. Their 2014 show, titled “A Change of Heart,” is based upon the true story of Craig Lewis, recipient of the world’s first beatless artificial heart.

“After prelims, it was stressful until we heard that we had a guaranteed spot in finals,” said synth player Josh Peterson. “But once we knew we were in, all we could feel was euphoria.”

REEF is one of more than 70 PIA ensembles arond the world that performed in WGI events this season. Of all the PIA groups who qualified for the 2014 World Championships, only 26 participated in the preliminary round, and of those only 12 groups (including REEF) scored well enough to move on to the final round.

“These students have always been outstanding leaders at Fort Lauderdale High School,” said FLHS band director Kathryn Lotocky. “Making it to the finals of the WGI World Championships is a wonderful acknowledgement of the dedication they’ve shown to REEF as well as the Flying L band. I would love to one day grow the FLHS drum line and color guard units into leading WGI ensembles to give all of my students the opportunity to share in that experience.”

For more information about joining the FLHS Marching Band or Color Guard, contact Ms. Lotocky at kathryn.lotocky@browardschools.com. For more information about REEF Independent, go online to reefindependent.org or facebook.com/reefindependent. For more information about WGI – including scores, photos, and videos of the World Championships – go online to wgi.org. For more information about SFWGA, go online to sfwga.org.

Okay, so I got this random IM on the internal IM network here at work from a person I’ve never met before. And it went something like this (name changed to protect the guilty):

Mystery IM Lady [2:11 PM]:
Hi!!

Mystery IM Lady [2:11 PM]:
guess what’s going on downstairs

At the time, I was working in a one-story building.

Mystery IM Lady [2:11 PM]:
I’ll give you a hint

Mystery IM Lady [2:12 PM]:
[music note]

Who the heck are you? Okay, I’ll play along …

ePeterso2 [2:12 PM]:
Really?

Mystery IM Lady [2:12 PM]:
yup

Mystery IM Lady [2:12 PM]:
is Neil going to make an apperance???

Who? I have no idea who Neil is! I don’t even know who you are!

ePeterso2 [2:12 PM]:
I don’t know … I haven’t seen him today

Mystery IM Lady [2:12 PM]:
hmmmmm

ePeterso2 [2:13 PM]:
What kind of music?

Mystery IM Lady [2:13 PM]:
how about tony toni tone

Mystery IM Lady [2:14 PM]:
two agents just sang hit me with your best shot

ePeterso2 [2:14 PM]:
NO WAY

Mystery IM Lady [2:14 PM]:
yup

Mystery IM Lady [2:14 PM]:
Oh

Mystery IM Lady [2:14 PM]:
what about eye of the tiger

Mystery IM Lady [2:14 PM]:
ice ice baby

Okay, now let’s push the envelope and up her eventual embarrassment level a bit.

ePeterso2 [2:14 PM]:
Is that what you’re going to sing?

Mystery IM Lady [2:14 PM]:
OH NO

Mystery IM Lady [2:14 PM]:
I don’t sing

ePeterso2 [2:15 PM]:
I bet you do sing

Mystery IM Lady [2:15 PM]:
in any way shape or form

Mystery IM Lady [2:15 PM]:
nope

Mystery IM Lady [2:15 PM]:
sorry

ePeterso2 [2:15 PM]:
Surely you must in the car

Mystery IM Lady [2:15 PM]:
[puzzled face]

Mystery IM Lady [2:15 PM]:
you know there’s no radio in my car

Mystery IM Lady [2:15 PM]:
remember

Mystery IM Lady [2:15 PM]:
jerk

Oops!

ePeterso2 [2:15 PM]:
Oh, right

ePeterso2 [2:15 PM]:
I forgot.

Mystery IM Lady [2:15 PM]:
[angry face]

Mystery IM Lady [2:16 PM]:
I got it!!!

Mystery IM Lady [2:16 PM]:
You can sing like the Boss

Mystery IM Lady [2:16 PM]:
any song will do

ePeterso2 [2:16 PM]:
Do you have any requests?

Mystery IM Lady [2:17 PM]:
Born In The U.S.A. no doubt

Mystery IM Lady [2:17 PM]:
not sure if they have it though

At this point, I look her username up in the corporate directory and find out the name of her boss and that she works in the corporate call center, probably as a customer service agent.

ePeterso2 [2:18 PM]:
Is Holly there?

Mystery IM Lady [2:18 PM]:
yes but she’s offline, I think she has a meeting across the street

ePeterso2 [2:19 PM]:
Do you want to know something funny?

Mystery IM Lady [2:19 PM]:
sure

Mystery IM Lady [2:19 PM]:
wait, is it about me being short?

No, this is at least 37 times funnier than your height.

ePeterso2 [2:19 PM]:
I’m a software engineer in Plantation, FL (FL08). On the first floor.

ePeterso2 [2:19 PM]:
I’m probably not the person you intended to IM.

Mystery IM Lady [2:20 PM]:
Lol, wow

Mystery IM Lady [2:20 PM]:
and you let me keep going huh?

Mystery IM Lady [2:20 PM]:
[embarassed face]

Mystery IM Lady [2:21 PM]:
Sorry about that, you’re right, wrong Erik

ePeterso2 [2:21 PM]:
It explains why I didn’t know about your radio

Mystery IM Lady [2:21 PM]:
lol

ePeterso2 [2:21 PM]:
I will sing Born in the USA for you, though.

ePeterso2 [2:21 PM]:
Although my coworkers probably wouldn’t appreciate or understand it.

Mystery IM Lady [2:21 PM]:
It’s customer service week in the call center so we have events going on

Mystery IM Lady [2:22 PM]:
singing is one

ePeterso2 [2:22 PM]:
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

ePeterso2 [2:22 PM]:
We’re software engineers here. They never bother to do fun events for us.

Mystery IM Lady [2:22 PM]:
Well, thanks for embarrassing me, hopefully this im was fun for you

Mystery IM Lady [2:22 PM]:
[smiley face]

ePeterso2 [2:23 PM]:
This will be our little secret

Mystery IM Lady [2:23 PM]:
Thank you for that

ePeterso2 [2:23 PM]:
I never know what kind of IMs I’ll be getting – there are two other Eric Petersons in MOT

Mystery IM Lady [2:23 PM]:
Well, have a great rest of your day and I’m expecting a song

Mystery IM Lady [2:23 PM]:
yea, I don’t really have that problem

ePeterso2 [2:24 PM]:
I’ll see if I can find a mic

Mystery IM Lady [2:24 PM]:
nice

MUWHAHAHA.