Winter Guard commits to hours of evening rehearsals

March 14, 2019 — by Christine Zhang

The members of the Winter Guard team exhaustedly trudged back to their bus after their competition at Oak Grove High School on March 2, proud of their performance as a result of the hard work they had put in over the course of several months to perfect their routine.

The school’s varsity Winter Guard team practices from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays without shows. If the team has a show, they begin rehearsing at noon on Saturday and return to the school around midnight or 1 a.m. The varsity team has 17 members, while JV has 2.

The Winter Guard season started in early November and will end with World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, from April 3 to April 6.

Senior member Casey Holt said that the team generally places in the top three for regional competitions.

Holt has been a part of guard since her seventh grade, and due to the time commitment that it requires, Holt said that she now builds her life around color and Winter Guard rather than fitting it into her schedule.

Sophomore varsity member Nikita Kadambi agreed that guard, especially Winter Guard, is a huge time commitment. In addition to the regular Thursday evening and Saturday practices from the fall season, Winter Guard’s higher level of technique and performance requires them to meet for rehearsals on Tuesdays as well. Because the Winter Guard no longer has to perform with the band, they do not have the practices that color guard had right after school with the marching band during eighth period.

Kadambi said that she enjoys evening practices far more than eighth-period practices since the team is more relaxed at night.

“Everyone is calmer at night, and it’s not very agitated,” Kadambi said. “In eighth period, everyone’s just coming off of school and people are still thinking about school, so it seems more busy.”

Because evening rehearsals are three hours long compared to the 90-minute eighth-period practices, Holt said that the team gets much more done during the night.

Kadambi also said that, due to the higher time commitment, Winter Guard causes more stress for her since she has more schoolwork as a sophomore this year.

“It’s definitely harder because you’re thinking about your routines and you have trouble balancing your schedule,” Kadambi said.

Despite the time that Winter Guard takes up, Kadambi said that the experience is well worth the commitment because of the friendships that she has made with her teammates.

“You get to talk and share rooms with your teammates in Dayton,” Kadambi said. “You create a lot of bonds with your team and you also go on trips, which are really fun.”

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