Parent Guide to Indoor – 2017 Edition


Image result for indoor percussionThe “indoor” activity is new to everyone here at PAHS – but this guide should help both students & parents navigate their first show.



  • Where do these shows take place?
    • Schools host the competitions in their gymnasiums.
  • How many schools and/or groups perform at a show?
    • There could be anywhere between 15 and 50 different performing organizations at one show.
  • Wow! That’s a lot! Do I (as a parent) need to stay for the entire event?
    • Not necessarily.  We do ask that if you’re going to a show, watch at least the entire “idiom”.
  • What do you mean by idiom?
    • There are actually FOUR different types of indoor groups: percussion ensembles, color guards, twirling groups, and dance teams.    Each of these idiom is then broken down by skill classification.
  • How long is each show?
    • Most shows last between 4 and 6 minutes.   Groups rated at a higher skill classification are expected to perform more.
  • Skill classification?
    • Classes exist so that one group is being compared to other groups of similar makeup and Image result for indoor guardskillsets.   The entry level is called Novice (or Regional).   The next level up is the “A” class, followed by “Open” and eventually “World”.
    • The A, Open, and World classes are considered national level classifications.   In theory, groups performing at that level can be compared to groups across the country.
  • What’s the difference between Scholastic and Independent?
    • Scholastic ensembles are sponsored by a school district.  Independent ensembles are either a conglomeration of multiple schools or run by a performing arts organization that holds auditions.   Typically (though not all the time), independent groups will be made up of students who are graduated high school.
  • We are a percussion ensemble, yet we have flags (and dancers and rifles).  What’s up with that?
    • Many schools will field a color guard and a percussion ensemble, separate of each other.  We have decided to combine resources to provide the best opportunity for our kids.
    • Since instruments aren’t allowed in the color guard idiom (but visual elements ARE allowed in the percussion idiom), we are officially a percussion ensemble.
  • How is this all judged? Is it like marching band?
    • Sort of.   There are four judges looking at all aspects of the program.  It boils down to musicianship, performance quality, and creativity.