River Valley Percussion Theatre and Winter Guard, defending champs, are competing again

River Valley Percussion Team performs at Eagan, where they placed first.
River Valley Percussion Theatre performs at Eagan, where they placed first.


Two local teams who are defending state champions will be among the performers when Elk River High School hosts the seventh annual River Valley Winter Arts Festival Saturday, March 9, featuring 12 color guard teams and 11 drum lines.

River Valley Percussion Theate and River Valley Winter Guard were 2012 state champions in their class. They are Elk River-based and also include Zimmerman and Rogers students. Each group has had one competition and placed first so far this season.

River Valley Winter Guard performs at Osseo, where they placed first.
River Valley Winter Guard performs at Osseo, where they placed first.


This weekend, River Valley Percussion Theatre will perform at Irondale High School on Saturday at 1 p.m. and  at Buffalo High School on Sunday at noon. River Valley Winter Guard will perform Sunday at  Irondale, 6:30 p.m.

Drumline is an indoor percussion competition with elements of music performance, marching techniques, and theater.

The RVPT at practice.
The RVPT at practice.

The RVPT’s 2013 program, “Mechanism,” will “take the spectator on a journey through a fictional world of machines,” the press re lease states “and the hardships endured by a hardworking group of humanoid beings when rain is introduced to metal — rust!”

Winter Guard is an artistic and interpretive performance competition combining music and modern dance with flags, sabres, mock rifles, and other traditional marching band equipment.

RVWG’s 2013 production, “Heaven’s Rocking Chair,” illustrates “the deep emotion and loss felt when a loved one suddenly passes from an illness — especially when the loved one is a child,” the press release states.

“The show explores the feelings a child might have knowing they will soon cross over, and the mother’s pain and heartache as she watches her child go.”

RVPT, in its sixth year, and RVWG, in its second year, under the parent organization, 728 Cadets marching band, strive to equip their members with the highest level of education in percussion, musicianship and life skills, the press release states.

The drumline show was written by director Tom Gallus  and the winter guard show was written by its directors, Tom and Sarah Gallus.

The RVWG has 16 girls and the RVPT has 27 boys and girls, all from District 728.

The River Valley Winter Arts staff includes Joe Jaeger (batterie tech and music arranger), Kelly Elledge (batterie tech), Matt Mann (batterie tech), Liz Johnson (frontline instructor), Nina Zywicki (frontline instructor), Mary Stennes (equipment tech), and Trisha Abel (equipment tech).

March 9 event

At the River Valley Winter Arts Festival Saturday, March 9, drumline competition will start 1 p.m. and color guard at 6:30 p.m. The event typically draws around 4,000 spectators, a press release from RVPT stated.