By Aurora Phillips, junior high reporter
“Winter guard is an expressive art that we are interested in offering to Saegertown students. Winter guard uses a variety of dance styles coupled with the use of flags, ribbons, rifles, sabres, etc. to artistically interpret, and/or tell a story that is put to music,” said Michele Johnston, mother of seventh grader Madison Shoop, who is the new winter guard instructor. The team, which started practicing at the end of January, currently has seven members and is hoping to attract more.
Johnston kicked off the winter guard season with a relaxing routine to perform for the sixth graders in hopes of sparking some interest for the upcoming marching band season.
The elegant routine is a mix of ballet and flag. “It’s fun, and definitely more elegant than it used to be,” said senior member Catrina Erie.
Five previous color guard members (Catrina Erie, Emilee Walker, Elizabeth Morris, Kaity Gage, and Aurora Phillips) have come back to join them for this winter guard season. There are also two new members, seventh graders Madison Shoop and Tyrese Chester. These winter guard members seem to enjoy many different feelings that color guard or winter guard members experience. “I love the way the flag feels when I get into the music, and how they blend together. I also enjoy being around others with the same passion,” said freshman Emilee Walker.
To help attract new members, Coach Johnston has incorporated ballet into the routine that might interest those who dance. “I’ve been dancing since I was young and have always enjoyed it. It feels like I connect with the music, and it’s definitely something I’ve been interested in for a while since my grandparents used to take me to DCI competitions. Not only was I fascinated with the instrumentalists, but the way the guard really connected the whole show got me interested,” said Madison Shoop of her interest in joining winter guard.
Johnston said, “I am looking at our purpose being two-fold. First, we really want to create additional interest in an awareness of the color guard and our marching band by letting more students and faculty see what they do. Winter guard and color guard are both an exciting way to get involved with our music program and have fun with dance, choreography, and creative expression. There’s no experience necessary to join guard.”
If you happen to have an interest in expressive dance, you can contact Mr. Baldwin if you are interested or have any further questions.
Their next performance will be at the spring chorus concert here at Saegertown.