Rifles and Sabers and Flags–Oh My!


“Trumbull High School, is your guard ready?” No words bring greater anticipation to a winter color guard parent than these. The crowded gymnasium, which had just roared to life to welcome our daughters, is suddenly hushed. The girls are in their places, and soon we hear the opening bars of the song that forms the basis of their 2010 show. “Silent night, broken night..” echoes through the gym as we wait for the first movements of what we fervently hope will be a smooth performance. Shortly after the girls begin their opening dance moves, the thrills begin. First one rifle, then another, and another, and another are tossed high into the air, caught by what seems to be an endless series of girls. The whoosh of the rifles mimics the sound effects of a helicopter in their music. Before we know it, the floor is awash with 27 girls—some waving and tossing flags in rapid-fire motion, others are throwing sabers and still others catching rifles from seemingly impossible heights. So many girls moving in so many different directions, yet working as one to make a dramatic statement with their athleticism and their grace.
It is a measure of the girls’ devotion to their craft that they plunged enthusiastically into winter color guard immediately upon finishing a highly demanding fall marching band season. These girls have set a high goal for themselves. They aim to continue to be ranked among the top performers in the entire country in the highest class of scholastic competition for winter color guard. Last year, at the national championships in Dayton, Ohio, the Trumbull World Guard moved into 11th place with “Aurora”, a beautiful program set to a Puccini aria. This year’s very dramatic program titled “In Darkness” draws on their versatility to show them in a very different, and very moving, light.
As a parent, those few minutes of performance seem to last forever, as we sit and watch through eyes filled with tears of pride, holding our breath, praying that all goes well. Yet the performances also seem to go by in a flash, as we crave another chance to see all the things we missed the first time around. There is always next week…another show, another chance to see the result of the endless hours of practice, the bumps, and bruises our girls endure to reach their high level of performance. It will all culminate in that championship performance in Dayton this spring. As the mother of a senior, I will cherish that moment when I sit in the Dayton Arena, surrounded by thousands of cheering winter guard aficionados, and hear those words… Yes, I have no doubt. Our guard WILL be ready!

Elena – Guard Mom

Categories: General