The scores have been tallied and winners announced for WGI Indoor Percussion. But what were some of the key factors that determined those outcomes? The WGI Percussion General Effect (GE) sheet considers “communication” and “entertainment.”
What do they mean in the context of competition?
Communication Is Key. The dictionary defines “communication” as “a process by which information is exchanged between/among individuals through a common system of signs, symbols or behaviors.” As a verb, it means “to transmit information, thought or feeling, so that it is satisfactorily received or understood.”
The WGI General Effect sheet instructs the judge to “credit the successful communication of the ensemble’s identity and message through the tasteful blend of creativity and performance.”
Under Music Effect is written, “Communication is the [result of] performances that connect with the audience; the ability of the performers to draw the audience into what they are doing musically; the exchange of musical information from performer to audience.” The Overall Effect caption adds that, “Inherent here are aspects of identity, personality, style and character.”
To me, groups that communicate well make their audience believe in what they are doing. The designers have written material that enables the performers to immerse themselves in their show and to convey their passion to the crowd.
That’s Entertainment. The dictionary defines “entertainment as “something engaging.” As a verb, it means “to keep, hold or maintain in the mind.” Connotatively, something that is entertaining is also pleasing, amusing, attractive and compelling; it creates a “buzz” among fans and elicits an enthusiastic response. WGI rules say, “Entertainment is the result of a strongly communicated performance of a creative and imaginative program.
It is that quality which engages and captivates, offering intellectual intrigue, emotional response and aesthetic appeal.”
To me, “entertainment” simply means a product that takes the audience and the judges on a journey that is both captivating and artistic, that has a profound, fulfilling, enjoyable conclusion and that whets our appetites to see and hear it again.