Percussion at Olathe East
Olathe East Percussion Program
The Olathe East percussion program is one of the premeir percussion programs in the midwest. They focus on developing well rounded percussionists that are able to perform well in both the marching and concert disciplines. In March of 2016 the Olathe East Percussion Ensemble was selected to perform at the Bands of America Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival sponsored by Yamaha in Indianapolis. The group was selected by a taped audition and only 12 groups from across the entire United States were selected for this honor!
Since Mr. Smikahl's arrival at Olathe East in 1999 the drumline has evoled into one of the top groups in the midwest. They have won numerous awards both indoors and outdoors.
Past awards include:
1st Place Field Percussion at the KU Heart of Amercia Festival, Missouri Festival of Champions, and Lee's Summit Marching Festival. At many of these contest they have won 1st place multiple years in a row including a run of 4 years in a row at the KU festival.
1st Place Indoor Drumline Contest, at CMSU, Lee's Summit North Indoor Festival, Blue Valley Northwest Indoor Drumline Contest, and Blue Springs Indoor Drumline Contest. The drumline has had numerous other high finishes over schools from all over the midwest inlcuding schools from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
The Percussion Ensemble meets 7th hour second semester. This group focuses on advanced percussion ensemble pieces. This is an audition only group for grades 9-11. Past accolades most notably include the performance listed above at the National Percussion Festival. Other accolades for this groups include performances at the Kansas Music Educator's Association in 2009 and 2015. The percussion ensemble performed at the famed Avery-Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City in 2009. They have also been asked to perform at two different Percussive Arts Society Days of Percussion, including the first ever combined Missouir and Kansas Day of Percussion in 2006 which was hosted at Olathe East and featured nattional artists Gordon Stout, Bret Kuhn, and Zoro, 2009 at Kansas State University. They have had at least one percussion ensemble recieve a One Rating at the Kansas State Solo/Ensemble Festival every year since 2004.
Additional Recognition for Olathe East Percussion Students
Olathe East has had more percussionists in the Kansas All-State Band and Orchestra than any other school in Kansas since 2004. East has had at least one percussion student selected every year since 2004. This includes four percussionists selected to All -State ensembles in 2015. Olathe East has also had more percussionists in the KMEA Northeast District Band and Orchestra than any other school in Kansas since 2004, including 1st chair snare, 1st chair mallet, and 1st chair timpani in 2005.
Olathe East was one of only two high school drumlines that were selected to perform at Opening Day at the Kansas City Royal's Kauffman Stadium. They Royal's have only had mass drumlines twice on opening day and Olathe East was selected for this honor both times.
The percusssion ensemble was also selected to perform at the Olathe District Convocation and the National Conference for School Human Resource Administrators in 2007.