Cranston East hosts second annual indoor percussion competition


For the second time, Cranston High School East played host to 12 groups competing in the New England Scholastic Band Association (NESBA) competition. It was an exciting display of percussive arts as talented students from all over New England competed in this unique musical format.

Under the direction of Greg Arsenault, and with arrangements by Arsenault and Richard Medeiros, the Cranston East Indoor Percussion performed before a capacity crowd at Cranston East on Sunday.

The theme of this year’s performance is Uprising, and it tells the tale of a group of rebel fighters lead by a young heroine in a dystopian society face off against the brutal Enforcers and defeat them in battle. The defeated Enforcers join with the rebels to celebrate the overthrow of the oppressive regime.

The music featured “Vesuvius” by David Lanz, “Battle Cry” by Imagine Dragons, “Uprising” by Muse and “Demons” by Imagine Dragons.

Other credits for the performance go to; for visual design, Ian Flint, for costume design - Sew Elegant Designs, Tarpon Springs, Florida.

The front ensemble percussion technicians were Joseph Smith, Brendan Abrahamson,

Richard Medeiros, Peter Oliver, Cole Araby and James Polana were the battery percussion technicians.

The student musicians who were on front ensemble percussion were Kevin Aldana, Rory Araby, Tessa Bellotti, Kaidan Campbell, Adrian Cartegena Capo, Jeremiah Coss, Darien DiNaro, Domenic Fusco, Sagarika Gosh, Jielan Huang, John Rei, Tonia Roberti and Thomas Yakey.

The battery percussion consisted of Greyson Boudreau, Jacob McLane, Talia Parente, Joshua Deland, Jacob Nelson, Benjamin Cruz, Alexis Rei, Troy Santopadre, Peter Vannini, Jenna Barbarisi, Giovany Jiminez, Nadya Lehnert, Daniel Norridge and Timothy Thongvilay.

The schools that came from Massachusetts were: Agawam High School, Dartmouth High School, Joseph Case High School, King Philip Regional High School, Somerset-Berkley Regional High School, and Wakefield High School. Bishop Hendricken, Narragansett High School and host school Cranston High School East represented Rhode Island.

While the schools performed in several different categories, East competed in one, against Wakefield and Somerset-Berkley in the Percussion Scholastic Marching AA Class.

East took first place with a score of 80.2.

Longtime ‘band’ parent Shari Roberti has had three daughters go through the music program at East.

“From choir to band to orchestra to winter percussion and color guard, the music program at Cranston East has benefited all of my girls immensely over the past 10 years,” said Shari Roberti.

Roberti remarked on the changes she has seen in her children.

“I can’t say enough about the value of hard work that been instilled in my three girls. The teachers are amazing and so motivational towards all the students,” she said.

Roberti and her husband, David, worked shifts at the concession stand at Gillette when it was a fund raiser, they drove trucks to away shows and helped out at the Home Show Invitational in the fall.

The music program at East is a family unto itself and continues to change and grow as children enter and graduate from the program.

Arsenault was very appreciative of all the help he received in planning and organizing the event.

“The event ran very smoothly thanks to our parent and student volunteers. We hope to grow this event and attract more percussion and color guard units in the future,” he said.


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