by J.D.

“Brother,” that was the name given to Pulse Percussion Ensemble’s 2016 championship-winning performance, but it also exemplifies the spirit of unity that was captured throughout the season by this tireless ensemble and its staff. Though Pulse’s design team drew inspiration from a hip hop dance group for this year’s show, ensemble director, Mark Kveton, said that they knew this was the theme they would work with because the design team wanted to convey something very real. They wanted to portray its messages, situations, and feelings; at the forefront being a spirit of brotherhood. As Drumlines Of America talked with Kveton, that spirit was clearly expressed throughout the entire interview, as the ensemble seemed to harness it so well, on and off the floor.

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Pulse Percussion performs “Brother” at WGI Finals

Kveton, who typically handles any ensemble needs outside of design or instruction, talked about what it felt like to walk into a Pulse rehearsal this season, “It was egoless. No one came in saying ‘I’m going to carry this group all by myself.’ They were a family from start to finish…” These brotherly ideals, coupled with a design staff that was able to put out a sophisticated & entertaining product, and an admin team that fired on all cylinders the entire season; this is what Kveton attributed the groups overall success to. Each extension of the ensemble giving all they have to one another, like a family, like brothers.   Even Kveton said he has never worked with an ensemble that was able to do what Pulse did this season. They are truly an example to ensembles all across the country.

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Pulse in rehearsal

Southern California houses 5 of WGI’s world class finalists, with all eyes now on Pulse. This makes setting the example that much more important, especially with their little brother ensemble, POW Percussion, competing in world class as well. Kveton says that the Pulse organization is also extremely proud of what POW has accomplished and that both ensembles seem to breathe that undying brotherly support for one another. It’s this type of support that helps each player or team member through the challenges of the season.

When asked about the most challenging part of this season, Kveton pointed to the growing implementation of props within the overall activity. Pulse utilized 43 performers and 75 individual props this year, big and small. Not only did performing with these props create a new layer beyond the drill & music that needed to be taught/performed, but it was quite a task just keeping track of it all. Each person had a hand in keeping it all together, and so seemed to be the premise for the overall season.

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Directors, Mark Kveton & Chris Henderson

Giving your all to the player/teammate next to you, in search of a greater success, made the spoils of the season that much more rewarding for everyone at Pulse. “Pride,” is the sheer feeling Kveton describes as the 2016 championship announcement was handed down, “All 43 members of the ensemble took the floor every day and performed their hearts out. I truly believe they left everything on the floor at WGI World Championship Finals. You could see it on all of their faces, the look of absolute drive and resilience… The championship title was just icing on the cake. “ The ‘cake’ Kveton speaks of must have been a recipe made up of determination, endurance, and unity; all baked with a brotherly love. One thing is for sure; it’s a taste that the team at Pulse Percussion won’t soon forget.

Pulse Director, Mark Kveton, would like fans of Pulse to know how much the group appreciates them and says that they do this to inspire you all. Drumlines Of America would like to send a special thank you to Pulse Percussion and Mark Kveton for such an awesome interview.

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