CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A new indoor percussion group is coming to the Kanawha Valley.

The Kanawha Knights Independent Percussion, based out of Charleston, is looking for drummers and dancers to join the group for its inaugural season.

Anyone ages 13-22 is welcome to attend Experience Camps on Nov. 11 and Nov. 25 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at John Adams Middle School.

Cody Kerns, the executive director of the Kanawha Knights, is a student at West Virginia University. He formed the group in the Capital City to bring all middle school, high school and college marching band students together.

“I really didn’t want it to be affiliated with WVU directly or Marshall directly,” Kerns said. “Charleston really represents us as a state and so I really wanted Kanawha Knights to be able to represent us as a state as well.”

The group consists of the marching percussion and front ensemble sections of a marching band or drum corps. Indoor percussion combines elements of music performance, marching and theater. The activity is very popular in neighboring states, like Ohio, where hundreds of groups compete every weekend.

West Virginia has had very few independent marching units in the past. Kerns said it was important to get West Virginia’s kids involved with the marching arts. Students will not only learn how to play music, but they will also learn teamwork, perseverance and dedication.

“I hope that kids learn a lot about themselves,” Kerns said. “From my experience last year, I worked with an indoor percussion group and I saw those kids develop within a matter of five months. The change that they went through is amazing. I’m hoping that we can give a similar experience at Kanawha Knights with that.”

Kerns said there’s already a lot of local talent in the area.

“The Kanawha Valley has a lot of performing opportunities. You have eight high schools in the area, within the county itself, and then a lot of the surrounding counties are very interested in drum corps experiences, so I wanted each of the schools to have a level playing field. It didn’t matter which school your kid went to, your kids could get an equal amount of education,” he said.

The Kanawha Knights will be competing in the Ohio Indoor Percussion Association (OIPA), TriState Marching Association (TMA) and at two WGI (Winter Guard International) Regional events in the Independent A Class.

Rehearsals will be every other Saturday starting in December. The 2018 competition season is from January to April.

The Knights are a part of Hills Hope Performing Arts Inc., a non-profit organization that provides performing arts programming within the indoor and outdoor marching arts.

To register for the November audition camp, CLICK HERE.

More information about the group can be found on their Facebook page or by calling 304-300-9203.

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