Latest News, WVPA Sharing

Competitive percussion ensemble ‘experience camps’ open to percussionists, dancers

Kanawha Knights group bringing a new oppportunity for youth to compete

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  – Kanawha Knights Independent Percussion is ready to raise a RUCKUS.

The group is preparing for its inaugural 2018 season and is looking for percussionists and dancers, age 13-22, to attend Experience Camps being held at John Adams Middle School on Nov. 11 and 25. The camps consist of two days of drumming for performers to learn about the ensemble, the marching arts and consider performing with the group over the next five months.

“We are bringing a competitive, indoor percussion group to the valley that is independent from any school so it is open to everyone,” said Cody Kerns, Ensemble Director of Kanawha Knights. “Our new drums are on the way from Ludwig and we will put 30-40 performers on the floor this year for our inaugural season. We already have players showing interest from Wood, Monongalia, Mason, Jackson, Cabell, Putnam, Nicholas, and Kanawha Counties,” said Kerns.

Competitive, Indoor Percussion ensembles consist of the marching percussion (also called battery) and front ensemble (also called pit) sections of a marching band or drum corps. Indoor percussion combines elements of music performance, marching, and theater. The activity is very popular in surrounding states, especially Ohio, where hundreds of groups perform every weekend.

“The Kanawha Knights will be competing regionally within the Ohio Indoor Percussion Association (OIPA), TriState Marching Association (TMA) circuits and nationally at two Winter Guard International (WGI) Regional events competing within the Independent A Marching Class. “I’m not going to give alot of details regarding the 2018 show theme but it’s dark, emotional, and relatable to everyone in one way or another, it has been spawned from my own personal experiences over the past few years. The official show title and concept will be released in January, but it will provide a pretty emotional journey for our performers and audience alike,” Kerns continued.

Kanawha Knights Independent Percussion is program that is powered by Hills Hope Performing Arts Inc., a non-profit 501c3 organization founded by Kerns in 2016 that exists to provide performing arts education programming within the indoor and outdoor marching arts. The Kanawha Knights will compete in the Independent A Class of WGI for their inaugural season.

“The idea behind this ensemble is that it raises the quality of the musicians and the music programs around it. It’s a travel sport. We rehearse and perform in gymnasiums and we strive to provide a top quality marching arts experience similar to the well known drum-corps experience for our members, while keeping kids involved within their community music programs” Kerns said.

The Kanawha Knights staff march and instruct DCI and DCA corps during the summer and are also active teachers of High Schools and Universities across the region. “A lot of people don’t realize how popular

and advanced the Marching Arts are outside of our state,” Kerns continued, “I wanted to bring that experience to the youth of West Virginia, and the tri state area; to give this experience to students who wish to perform at a higher level. That is why we are bringing this activity to the Capital city: just as Charleston represents our great state as a whole, Kanawha Knights Independent Percussion wants to represent our state in the marching arts at the regional, and national level. We’re here to find developing percussionists who want to learn and perform in something new and exciting to our state and region; to raise the quality and experience of programs throughout our state and to represent West Virginia in a positive light as we travel through Kentucky, and Ohio,” he concluded.

Links about Indoor Percussion and the Sport of the Arts: – to Register for the experience Camps – Staff – info on The Sport of the Arts – WGI Highlight Reel of 2017 Performances


Cody Kerns,
Ensemble Director – Kanahwa Knights Independent Percussion President/Founder – Hills Hope Performing Arts Inc. [email protected]

Media Inquiries:

Andy Malinoski [email protected] 305-550-1165

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

And get our latest content in your inbox

Invalid email address