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Color Guard begins first year with marching band

Allie Zyck, in-depth editor

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While watching the halftime show during football games this year, students are going to see something they’ve never seen before. For the first time in the school’s history,  a color guard will be performing with the marching band.

A color guard is a group of flag twirlers who perform a dance routine during the marching band’s performance. Having one is required for competitive marching band festivals, and color guard teams can be found at many other school in the district.

“I liked the idea of starting with a blank slate,” the color guard director, Emily Bettencourt said. “Most color guards in the area have long histories, so this is very unique in that this is the start of that history.”

The color guard has been preparing for competition season since the start of the summer, practicing and working with the marching band. Along with the competitive marching band, the color guard with be going to marching band festivals and competing for a panel of judges. The color guard is judged independently from the band during festivals, but they are judged with the band in the general effect category.

“It’s a visual aspect to something that is almost exclusively auditory,” color guard member and senior Emma Hartnett said. “It shows a certain dedication, grace, and poise to go along with the music.”

Color guard is a part of the marching band in order to add a visual element. The movement needs to work with the music and the band as a cohesive element.

“The dance for me is a way to translate music into motion,” color guard member and junior Lillian Justie said.

The color guard has been working closely with the band this school year and much of the summer. Tryouts were in the spring and the members were required to attend the summer band camp with all of the marching band members. During their fall season, the two teams work closely together in order to combine the two styles of performance.

“There’s such a high emphasis on both music and athletics,” Hartnett said “You have to really have a rhythm nailed into your head, but you also have to be able to carry out these physical tasks.”

Dancing with the flags is something that many of the students in the color guard are learning for the first time, so knowledge of the band and music is especially important.

“I’ve never done anything athletic before and I really love music so it’s a good blend of both worlds,” Justie said.

Although the color guard competes alongside the marching band in the fall, during the winter the color guard will have an opportunity to perform on their own.

Color guard is a unique activity and aspect of marching band that BG has been missing for years. With it being added to the school this year, students now have an opportunity to be a part of a team that combines fine arts and athletics to make something new.

“Color guard is unique in that it is both a sport and an art,” Bettencourt said. “It takes physical strength and athleticism but it also encourages creativity. It can be strong, graceful, impactful, sharp, sad all at the same time.”

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