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Back-to-back World Champions!

The Clover High School (CHS) Percussion Ensemble returned to Clover on Sunday night with a new title, Back-to-Back World Champions, after winning the Winter Guard International (WGI) Percussion Scholastic OPEN Championship in Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend.  


A year after dazzling the crowds at the University of Dayton (UD) Arena last year, the CHS Percussion Ensemble returned to the iconic venue with similar aspirations and a new challenge. Stepping up to the Scholastic Open classification, the team faced a more skilled set of competitors.  The young group of musicians again rose to the occasion showing their precision and skill to claim the title.


“Clover HS brought the house down with their 2023 production “Nevermore” inspired by Edgar Allen Poe”, said Mikey McGuire of the official website of WGI. “Clover HS performed the absolute brakes off this show, they did not once let up and from the very first note, the audience was hanging on by their every move.”


Clover competed among the 42 other teams in the Scholastic Open division.  On Thursday evening at The Nutter Center at Wright State University, they topped all competitors in the preliminary round with the highest score, 94.875, in the division.


On Friday, in front of a new double-panel of adjudicators, the Blue Eagles competed against a field narrowed down to the top 24 groups in the semifinals at Truist Arena on the campus of the University of North Kentucky.  As the top scorers in the preliminary round, Clover performed last in the semifinals and once again finished the round in first place with a score of 96.125.


The final round hosted the top 15 performers at UD Arena, where once again, Clover showed its talent in capturing the championship with a score of 97.863.


This result was no surprise to those who have seen the show prior to the trip to Ohio, as the team racked up stellar performances in the lead up to the event. The group posted an undefeated season from January to April by placing first at five events hosted by either Winter Guard International (WGI) or the Carolina Winter Ensemble Association (CWEA). They watched as their scores consistently rose as the season progressed.


The season started at the CWEA event at Catawba Ridge High School with a first-place finish and a score of 74.1. On March 4, they traveled to the WGI Richmond Regional, where they finished first with a score of 83.35. On March 25, they competed at the CWEA event at Easley High School, where they earned first-place honors and a score of 86.8. There was no foolery on April Fools’ Day when the group posted a score of 85.95 and took top honors at Winthrop University. The last competition before Dayton was the CWEA Championship on April 15. CHS finished first with a score of 91.450.


The World Champions will be back in action on Wednesday evening with an encore performance for the Clover community.  The team will take the floor at the Clover High School Gymnasium at 7:00 p.m.


Rick Langdale Quote:

“Throughout the season, I have had a front row seat to watch this group of 47 students, ranging in ages 13-18, who have learned to work together, perform together, play together, cry together and lead together.  The expectations of the directors and staff were high and remained high.  The journey wasn't easy nor was it designed to be.  The Clover Band family is a place where we strive to provide life-changing experiences through cultivating a culture of significance.  Ryan Hall, Anne Turner and the entire Percussion staff continue to redefine what is possible for students to achieve because they push the students to be more than a stellar percussionist.  They push them to become people with heart, grit and perseverance.  I told the students prior to results being shared that no placement could change our love and pride for them. They won our hearts long before any results were announced!”


Rod Ruth Quote:

“I am so proud of our students, staff and parents for their dedication  to dreaming big.  Accomplishments such as these are so intertwined with a commitment to hard work, and the decision to commit to that level of work might be what impresses me most.  The capital of the percussion world is Clover, SC, and that is an awesome thing to consider.  The lessons learned and memories established over the last two years will continue to propel our students and school to amazing heights.”