Frequently Asked Questions

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What is VIPE?

VIPE is the Victor Indoor Percussion Ensemble, a competitive indoor marching percussion ensemble.

 

Competitive?

We have had a great deal of success in competition, but our focus is on the pursuit of excellence and helping our students to become the best they can be, not on beating other groups. Since 2015, we have won three NYS championships, two regional championships, and the bronze medal at world championships. 

 

Who is eligible to audition for VIPE?

VIPE is open to any Victor student who is academically eligible. Our membership is typically comprised of students who are field band percussionists, students who play a wind instrument in field band, as well as a small number of students who have not previously been a part of the marching program.

 

How do I become a member of VIPE?

VIPE is an auditioned group that has a high performance level and expects a high level of commitment from its members. Membership is by audition, and all potential members must audition. Part assignments for those students accepted into the group are at the discretion of staff and are based on the needs of the ensemble.

We will take as many qualified people as we can. But if 20 people try out for the 2-3 auxiliary spots, we can't take all 20.

 

What will auditions look like?

We are again running our audition camp so that we can evaluate all of the skills that our performers will need. This will be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, November 6-8. During this time, students will be instructed on playing and marching techniques, and will work on actual show music and drill. Some students may be pulled out for individual performance, while others will only play within the group. During this time, we will evaluate all potential performers, and will plan to announce the roster sometime on [date TBD].

 

I was in field band percussion. Does that mean I'm automatically accepted into VIPE?

Please see above.

 

I was in VIPE last year. Does that mean I'm automatically accepted into it this year?

Again, see above.

 

What instruments are available?

Battery instruments are snare, tenors (quads), bass, and cymbals. We will march five basses, and as many snares, tenors, and cymbals as are qualified. The front ensemble typically includes three marimbas, two or three vibraphones, xylophone, glockenspiel (orchestral bells), two synthesizers (keyboard), and two or three auxiliary percussionists. Auxiliary percussionists play a wide range of instruments, and are similar to a percussionist in the concert band. This year's program will include guitar and a drummer on a specific type of drum from a specific culture (yes, this is intentionally vague), and this drummer/drummers may march on the floor.

Does this group travel?

The majority of our performances are within the New York State Percussion Circuit. Nearby shows include a pre-season event in East Rochester, and competitions at Eastridge, Hilton, and our "home show" here at Victor. There will be several more in the Syracuse area. We are going again performing at the WGI regional in Dayton, Ohio, which is an overnight trip.

 

WGI?

WGI is the international governing organization for this activity. It stands for Winter Guard International, as indoor winter color guards were their original focus. The activity now includes indoor percussion, and WGI recently added a "Winds" category, which is essentially indoor marching band.

 

How long is the season?

We have audition camp in the second full week of November, and rehearsals of the finalized roster begin the following week. Performances and competitions start in early February and finish in April.

 

When does VIPE meet?

We follow a rehearsal schedule that is very similar to field band. Our regularly scheduled rehearsals are Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6 to 9 p.m., with Saturday morning rehearsals beginning in January. There are a few times that we have "camp" weekends with a Friday evening followed by a Saturday rehearsal, and a handful of extra rehearsals typically happen before big events like the regional competition and state championships. A complete calendar is available.