The Winter Guard teams take the podium

Sarah Solis, Reporter

The 2019 Percussion and Winterguard Championships just wrapped up at Mt. Vernon High School and our junior varsity Silver Winter Guard placed 3rd while our varsity Red Winter Guard placed 2nd in their separate divisions.

The teams have been practicing for this competition for a total of 6 months. Every week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the guards rehearsed for 3 hours or  more.

“I’ve been watching the videos that the coaches and some of the members have been posting on our Facebook web page, and that’s where we learn and review the choreography if you missed a day of rehearsal,” Silver Guard member, junior Cristine Aguinaldo said.

The Silver Guard performed their act to an orchestral version of Seven Nation Army. With giant cards in their hands and using tables as props, the act centered around multiple ongoing games of poker.

“I love seeing the progression of kids, especially our silver team which performed earlier today,” Color Guard coach, Brian Seemann said. “About two thirds of them had never done color guard before, and by the end of the season, to be able to see how much they have grown as performers, is probably the coolest and most rewarding thing.”

The Red Guard performed to The Gatekeeper, a story centered around the performers want to make it through heavens gate. (More information on their act is posted in the linked article at the bottom)

There are four main categories on how [the color guard teams] get judged,” Seemann said. “One is movement; so their dance and how their bodies move. Another is equipment; so anytime they are using a flag, rifle or a saber, and how they are moving that equipment.”

The teams are also graded on their design theme; so how their performance comes together with their props, flags and uniforms. Equally important is the general effect of their performance; the emotion the guard teams put into their act and how it makes the audience react.

The championship is one of the most favorite days for Winter Guard.

“I like championships because they are the longest competition days,” Silver Guard member, junior Katrina Portillo said. “Its from morning to midnight and we get home around 12:30 in the morning, so basically we just never go home.”

The championship also allows for the guard members to see other guards and gain inspiration from them. Guards from surrounding high schools and universities perform at the championships.

Even with their podium wins, it is also a sad moment for the guards.

“When we were performing I felt intimidated; its championships and it’s the last performance as a whole team,” Cristine Aguinaldo said. “I’m really going to miss the team because the people are really fun and loving.”

Fun Facts about guard:

1) It has military origins- In ancient battles, armies would march into battle with colored flags to represent their kingdom. Nowadays, color guard is not military based, but performance art based.

2) The United States still has a military style color guard- They normally perform at sporting events during the national anthem and carry the national flag, sabers and rifles.

3) There is a difference between color guard and winter guard- The color guard performs with the school band while the winter guard performs indoors to recorded music. This gives the winter guard more artistic freedom.