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October 26, 2023

Purely Rhythmic: A delicate balance of playful percussion, whimsical fantasy

Isabella Callegaro Santos
CHS9 Purely Rhythmic plays Chad Heiny’s “Beacon of Light” during Saturday’s performance in the CHS Auditorium. The annual Purely Rhythmic concert showcases rhythmic pieces performed by students from sixth through 12th grade in Coppell ISD.

The lights quickly dim. The room is illuminated by the glow of the blue LED lights taped down around the edge of the stage. The curtains begin to sprawl open revealing a bright orange backdrop and the Coppell High School Band percussion seniors perform the first piece of the night, “Katraterra.”

On Saturday night, Coppell Band held its annual percussion performance, Purely Rhythmic, in the CHS Auditorium. The show is the culmination of months of hard work starting in November.

“We started back in mid November after taking a break and the kids have been working weekly,” Coppell percussion director Randall Nguyen said. “We had weekend rehearsals and they put in a bunch of work. We’re super excited with the progress.”

The show featured a variety of tones, finding a balance between pure percussion pieces such as “Skeleton Key” and whimsical numbers such as “Aquarium” and “Watch for Falling Coconuts.” Some pieces were composed by the students as well.

“I composed a piece called ‘Endue,” senior Avani Betigeri said. “I was at the beach in Hawaii listening to the waves and that is where I got the inspiration. [Composing] it was pretty organic, I wasn’t anticipating it.”

Purely Rhythmic plays Jon Anderson’s “Wolf and Bear” to close Saturday’s performance in the CHS Auditorium. The annual Purely Rhythmic concert showcases rhythmic pieces performed by students from sixth through 12th grade in Coppell ISD. (Isabella Callegaro Santos)

One piece stood out, though. “Living Room Music” provided a comedic interlude with its humorous actors and skits. Junior Oskar Zhang dressed up in a bear costume and senior Matthew Boyle played a pizza boy who would eventually join the group on the couch for a jam session.

“Every four years we like to do a special piece,” senior Saimaurya Kanagala said. “It’s been four years and we thought, ‘oh, we should bring back this piece.’ We chose the four goofiest people in the front ensemble and our goal was to make the funniest piece of the audience, something that’ll make them laugh, enjoy themselves. Take a break from all the percussion stuff.”

Act outs woven into performances was common throughout the show. The group performing “Cabasa” mimed drinking tea and took turns playing with each other’s instruments. In “El Chupacabra” the players performed elaborate handshakes with each other as they took turns switching between instruments.

While the night was a success, proven by the audience’s wild applause and cheers, Coppell percussion had a special surprise – a performance of “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid (1989)

As the final note rang out and the percussion group took its bow, it signified much more – the end of end of many percussionists careers, and the start of some new ones. With performances by sixth graders from Coppell Middle School West early on and the surprise closing number, the range of emotions was palpable.

“It means so much,” Nguyen said. “I first got here in the fall of 2018 so the seniors were seventh graders. I’ve been watching them grow for the past six years and it has been really, really amazing. It’s going to be sad to see them go, but I’m super excited to see what their endeavors are in the future.”

Follow Nyah (@nyah_rama) and @CHSCampusNews on X.

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About the Contributors
Nyah Rama
Nyah Rama, CHS9 Editor
Nyah is a junior and the CHS9 editor for The Sidekick. Although she was inspired by Rory from Gilmore Girls at 9 years old, Nyah’s journey in the school newspaper and journalism started when she won Writer of the Week during a journalism summer camp. Outside of writing for The Sidekick, Nyah is also an editor for the magazine TaHB, which focuses on topics and events in the science and medical field. When not working on a story for The Sidekick, struggling through IB classes, or editing for TaHB magazine, Nyah enjoys critiquing reality TV with her friends over FaceTime, listening to female rap artists such as Cardi B, Saweetie and Latto, and keeping up with her football team, the New York Jets. As a proud New Jerseyan, born and raised for 5 years, Nyah attributes her opinionated personality to her Jersey origin. She loves everything about the American Northeast: people’s aggressive attitudes and aggression, and the busy city lifestyle. To discuss Patrick Mahomes’ football career, share opinions on reality TV characters, or discuss rap culture, you can contact Nyah by email at [email protected] or on Instagram (@nyah_rama).    
Isabella Callegaro Santos

Isabella Callegaro is a junior. She was born in Brazil, and has 1 younger sister. She lived in 5 continents and 7 countries. She can speak 4 different languages. She enjoys doing gymnastics, musical theater, and singing. Her favorite food is Italian and Japanese food, especially sushi. Her favorite subject is English and debate while her least favorite subjects are math and history. Her favorite places to travel are Spain and Brazil florianopolis. She also loves making speeches/public speaking. She joined The Sidekick because she likes communicating with people. In The Sidekick she wants to record, interview and do social media.

You can contact her at [email protected].

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