Every year ensembles set out to push the boundaries of the sport and set new standards. By the end of the season, several ensembles will not only set new standards, they'll be pushing scores that approach perfection.
While achieving perfection is nearly impossible, the journey is something that begins well before World Championships. Earning the distinction of "setting new standards" often comes long before members pack up their cars and trucks and head to Dayton, Ohio.
It begins by earning a 90 and then starting to push for a perfect 100 as early in the season as possible. These percussion groups have each laid the groundwork to chase down perfection during the 2018 WGI World Championships on April 19-21.
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Pulse Percussion (90.2) - February 25
The first group to break the 90-point plane in 2018 WGI competition was Pulse Percussion, out of California. The group pulled an 87.35 in preliminary competition and came up with a 2.85-point increase in its score literally overnight.
Pulse performed at the WGI West Power Regional finals on March 25 and earned a 92.0, putting them in second place behind Broken City and ahead of RCC.
Rhythm X (90.35) - March 10
Two weeks after Pulse set the bar out West, Rhythm X joined them in the 90-plus club after its prelims run at the WGI Indianapolis Regional. They are currently a strong contender for the top of Independent World with their recent first-place finish at the Mid-East Power Regional—a particularly strong regional this year, considering the competition.
Broken City/RCC (92.70) - March 24
Broken City and RCC are two groups from California that percussion fans always have their eyes on, and this year they certainly aren't disappointing. The two tied in prelims at the West Power Regional and were followed closely behind by Pulse, only a tenth of a point back (92.6).
All three groups flip-flopped on Sunday in finals, resulting in Broken City taking the lead (92.788), Pulse taking second (92.0), and RCC moving into third (91.85).
Music City Mystique (91.925) - March 24
If you saw their show last year, you know that Music City Mystique is one of the first groups that come to mind as "setting new standards." The reigning world champions earned six 99s, one 100, and two 99.5s last year in Dayton.
So far in 2018, Mystique has improved from an 83.9 at their first WGI show (WGI Dayton prelims) to their last show, earning 91.925 at prelims for the WGI Mid-East Power Regional.