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Winter Percussion FAQ

Winter Percussion is a more relaxed and laid back experience than marching band. There are fewer students, district approved parents carpool them back and forth, and the days are shorter than for marching bands.   


Winter Perc is loud. How do I protect my ears?

Earplugs are helpful for students to protect their young and growing ears. You only get one set, so please protect them. We have traditional foam ear plugs that work well for most.

One suggestion is to purchase Earasers Hi-Fi High Fidelity Earplugs. They cost about $40. Earasers filter all frequencies so everything just sounds softer instead of muffled. The foam ones also work as long as the students don’t shove them in too far, so that’s still a good option to have.


The can be found at Amazon, Google Shopping, Guitar Center or directly from the company, Earasers. They come in Small, Medium, Large, and filter all frequencies so everything just sounds softer instead of muffled.

What is the typical schedule for a Winter Percussion Performance Day?

Times change depending on performance times of each show but generally it is as follows:

  • Armeen sets arrival time at MVHS

  • Pack truck (all students) and practice

  • Eat lunch and leave for show

  • Arrive at show

  • Unpack truck

  • Change into costume

  • Warm up

  • Practice Run through

  • Walk to gate

  • Students go to Standby area with a set of parents who are helping with the props/pit gear.

  • Students Perform

  • Students head Back to trailer/begin loading up the truck

  • Students watch the other groups perform.

  • Students eat dinner.

  • Students attend Awards - Parents are welcome to attend.

  • Load Carpools/Return to Mountain View High School

  • Unpack truck - all students!


How do students get to and from the event?

Students are driven in parent carpools with drivers who are district approved. If you need to become district approved you must fill out this form and notify the Music Directors so that they can follow up with the district on your application process. We always are looking for drivers. If you would like to drive, please become district approved (only takes 10 minutes)! 


If I am a parent and I want to attend, do I need to buy tickets or parking?

There is fee for parents to watch the show but it is definitely worth the price of admission. The fee is usually around $13 for adults and friends. A good tip is to bring cash since sites can vary on what forms of payment they accept. Parking is usually free if you park on the street and there may be a fee if you park in the high school parking lots. Typically, the parking lot is reserved for the winter percussion group trucks and carpool vehicles.


Do the shows usually run on time?  If the performance time says 4:23, should I get there at 4:20?

The performances definitely run like clockwork. Given that you will usually need to find street parking, walk to the venue and possibly stand in line to buy a ticket, you should definitely not get there at 4:20. I would try and get there at least by 4. If you want to try and find the group practicing ahead of time, then feel free to come early and watch them do their run throughs.  


What will the students eat for lunch and dinner?

Students are supposed to bring a sack lunch to eaten either before or after they are carpooled to the competition site. They are also asked to bring $10 for dinner. Depending on the venue, they will either be able to buy food from available vendors at the site, or parents will go and pick up food for the group.


What about snacks?

As you know, teens are always hungry, so we like to provide some healthy snacks and drinks for them as well. These are done through your donations and we ALWAYS need more.


If I decide to drive, do I need to stick around all day?

If you drive, you are only obligated to drive the direction or directions that you signed up for. Some parents choose to go home, some choose to hang out, go to lunch, enjoy the east or south bay, play some ukulele, and help out the students and drum techs. It is up to you. If you do decide to stay, it is a good idea to bring a folding chair and possibly something to do.


What organization puts on these winter percussion shows?

The Northern California Percussion Alliance (NCPA) puts on the show and its web site @  Is a good reference to times of performance, venue location and cost.


May I video-record the performance?

We can have one official videographer during the show. That person will get an entrance wristband. Other than that, we are encouraged to not video-record the show. Still pictures are allowed.

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