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FUPE Medals at WGI World Finals

FUPE on the last day of Dayton finals

FUPE on the last day of Dayton finals

FUPE on the last day of Dayton finals

Phoebe McCormick, Staff Writer

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After several months of hard work, the Farmington United Percussion Ensemble (FUPE) won medals on Friday, April 21 at the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio. It’s been about eight years since they last medaled at worlds, making this victory a major achievement.

FUPE is a winter drumline group under the direction of Joseph Kuerzi that pulls musicians from all three of the Farmington district’s high schools, outside school districts, and even colleges in order to perform and compete. Together, these students rehearse music and learn drill in order to go against other groups in competition-the largest of the competitions being the WGI World Championships. 

Their show this year, titled Folklore, played on the idea of early man developing customs and beliefs amongst their tribe. Visual characteristics included war-like face paint, wearing furs, jumping around a fire and even stomping and clapping.

“What I liked about it was that there were some elements in our show that we had never done before, such as bowed cymbals and vibes, light up props, and cymbal players playing crotales.” Morgann Cedro, vibraphone player and junior from FHS, said. “It was a drastic change from a modern city theme to an ancient tribal theme.”

Aside from the props, the rehearsing was time consuming and intense. Long before the Dayton trip, the FUPEers practiced three days a week every week for six months, constantly learning or perfecting the show and mastering new techniques. They went to competitions all over the state to perform and prepare for their time in Dayton.

Along with long practices, unity and friendship among the members is necessary. Without that, the group won’t work together well. “It’s amazing that we medaled, but without being united with each other this wouldn’t have been possible,” Matt Gilson, rack player, college junior and FUPE age-out said. 

When they got to Dayton they rehearsed every single day, with food breaks, Wal-mart runs, and group bonding in between. On the day of finals, something seemed very different- people were less nervous and more excited to perform. They were enthusiastic about their show and ready to give it their all. They weren’t thinking about the medal, they were thinking about being the best they could possibly be on their final run of the season.

This seems like something he said at the show.  Explain that in your transition here. “This is it. This is what we’ve all worked for,” said snare drummer and HHS senior Nathan Golden just before their performance. “Don’t let what we did during practice go to waste and don’t overhype the show. This is just another run, but it’s our last one so give it all you got.”

During the awards ceremony after the performance, FUPE was announced as the silver medalist group, which hasn’t happened in years.

“The feeling is almost indescribable, it was happiness mixed with relief and sadness because it was over and about half of us were crying with joy,” said cymbal player Anna Koh, a senior from NFHS. 

That night, FUPE had achieved a great victory. It wasn’t just winning the medals. It was the victory of completing another season. It was about the music they played, the friends they made, and the fun they had during the season. It’s in groups like these where you can make lifelong friends and gain lifelong skills.

“Spending time with people is limited,” Gilson said, “make victories attainable but relationships everlasting.”


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FUPE Medals at WGI World Finals