Rifles and Sabers and Flags–Oh My!

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“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

One Response

  1. Mark D says:

    What a well written and accurate assesment of the quality of performance and energy that the THS Winter Guard will have this winter. And I can say that without ever yet seeing one practice or show yet this season.

    Why can I say this? Because I watched most of this same core of students perform at a level of talent and energy that I personally had never seen from this year’s fall THS Golden Eagle Marching Band, of which the Winter Guard draws many of its competitors from. I had the pleasure of watching a good dozen shows from the fall marching band season and I was struck at how while I should have been watching my “son playing in the band,” I just could not take my eyes off of what the guard component was doing out there on the field. Week after week, they improved to the point that they actually scored a perfect score in their area of expertise in the Fall Championship competition at Kennedy Stadium.

    A perfect score! I wish I could say I was surprised, but I wasn’t. Even my wife had to admit that as much fun as it had been in years past to look for students we knew on the field, that it was just plain impossible to take ones eyes off of the Guard. Because they were mesmerizing, they were great! The guard was a constant, a well oiled machine within a band that was peaking at the end of the season. The Guard component did things that other schools could only dream of, and on a regular basis they were firing on all cylinders week after week, only getting stronger and gaining their confidence. Well Fall, turns into Winter and with it comes Winter Guard and Winter Percussion for the Trumbull Gold Eagle Band, in whatever form the season requires of the students.

    I am going to end this by remembering back to one of the recap articles from the WGI tournament in Dayton last March or April timeframe and I recall the 2009 WGI tournament write-ups from Dayton which gave accolades to all of the talented schools who performed well in Dayton, and one of their yearly responsibilities is to look at all of the schools from the presnt year and project a performance and a rank a year away. Which frankly is a very tough thing to do these days given all of the variables that can enter a school’s music program over the course of just one year! But the WGI tried to sum up what schools were rising starts and what schools to watch out for in 2010. Guess which school was listed in the group as one of the schools to watch out for this winter? I am not telling, but you can go look for yourself at wgi.org

    Come out and watch these students, you will be awed, and you won’t be disappointed, and no they don’t even have to be your children for you to appreciate their practice and talent.

    Mark