By Lindsay Langstaff
It’s a typical Tuesday afternoon: many people are leaving school and eager to get home. The band hallway, however, remains buzzing with activity. Marching band is about to start at 3:15, and everyone must be on the field by then.
Color Guard is an extremely difficult activity that requires a great amount of endurance. They must learn to dance, spin flags, rifles, and even sabers. Every day brings a new challenge; some days it might be running the eight-minute show three times at the end of practice or other days having to learn and memorize the work for 10 sets in a single day (for all non-marching band people, a set is what gets everyone from one spot to the next. There are always a specific number of counts they have to get to each set. This is how the color guard knows where they have to stand and when). Yes, the Color Guard is a part of the marching band, but what they do is very different from the marching band. Having to run on the field, do the work assigned to them, watch the drum major for counts, look graceful, stay in character, move props, look up to the top of the stands, and make sure they’re hitting the right spots is certainly no easy task, as all guard members would say.
The guard is also a pretty talented group of people that has performed well at competitions. Recently, they placed fourth out of 19 marching bands at Naperville Central’s 8th Annual Marching Classic at Benedictine University. At the time of the performance, they were still learning their show, but they were still placed very high. The team has other upcoming competitions at Illinois State University, Lincoln Way Central, and Downers Grove South.
The new members are really being tested this year to see if they can keep up with everything that’s being thrown at them.
“The most difficult part has been having to learn all of the new work so quickly,” said freshman Emma Baunach.
Most members would probably agree that having to learn a vast amount of work in a short period of time is quite the challenge. Even the veterans have had to work extra hard this year.
“This is a really cool show that’s very different from anything that we’ve ever done,” said senior Emily Bergstrom.
This year’s show is a darker version of “Little Red Riding Hood.” The first and second movements are about Red Riding Hood wandering through the forest. The guard wears red capes in these first two movements and everything stays light-hearted and happy. The third movement, however, is very wild, intense, and completely different from the first and second. The entire guard takes off their capes and turns into scary creatures of the forest. All except one, of course. That would be the soloist, senior and captain Erika Bernabei, who leaves her cape on because she is now the only Red Riding Hood. All of this madness resolves itself in the dramatic and impactful fourth movement when Red Riding Hood is safe and sound once again.
“The show is an amazing take on ‘Red Riding Hood.’ We’re a lot better than we’ve ever been,” said senior Kelly Sutton, referring to their show entitled Into the Woods.
The Color Guard is led by guard staff members Danielle Beaton, Melissa Castor, and Veronica Dekruiff. They are the ones that create and teach the work to the Color Guard as well as make this activity run smoothly for everyone.
Dates for winter guard auditions will be November 4th and 6th in E109 (the band room) at the end of the E Wing. Auditions are completely non-binding so anyone who shows does not have to join. Both girls and boys are welcome to attend. If you have any questions, email Danielle Beaton at firstname.lastname@example.org.