Winter guard, drum line to face Western Championships

After many tournaments and competitions throughout the month of Feb., drumline and winter guard have been preparing for their biggest competition yet: Western Championships.

This year the drumline competition will be held in San Bernardino Calif. and the color guard will go to Vegas. The competition is so big, with guards and drumlines all the way from Canada to Texas to even Campo Verde, that there needs to be two venues. This is the first time the color guard portion of the show is being held in Vegas, according to band director Brandon Kiesgen.

Winter Guard International (WGI) is an opportunity for winter guard to compete against different states and schools. For junior Emma Frye, it is special to “see the other color guards, especially California because they’re really advanced and have a lot more funding.”

Even though the competition might be more advanced, Frye says she is optimistic for the team.

“I hope we place well with our show [the Western Championships]  and that our team grows together,” Frye said.

Since this is an international competition, they will be competing against some schools they have never encountered. Senior Kiara Deliman said that it’s “always a great experience getting to compete against schools they do not usually have the opportunity to compete against and hearing from judges that are not the usual (WGAZ) judges.”

The competition will be held Mar. 24 to 26. In order to participate in this competition, the band directors must “sign up in September,” Kiesgen said, and on top of the early deadline, the spots usually “fill up in the first five minutes.”

The advancement is an opportunity for the band to continue to receive new advice and tips to better improve their show. The preparation has been underway for quite some time, including zero hour practices; however, the members would not put it in as much time and effort as they do if they did not truly love the sport.

Senior Emily Martorana said that she hopes “everyone finds a passion and love for it [winterguard] and the show finally comes together.” To have a true passion and desire for their sport helps bring everyone together.

“I’ve made a lot of friends through it,” Frye said.

Deliman said her favorite part is connecting to the audience and “the performance aspect of it.”

This year the winter guard has incorporated quite a bit of props which band director Brandon Kiesgen contributes to “reusing from years before, like backdrops and ramps which can hide performers, create effects and highlight soloists and add to the overall dimension of the show… it provides opportunities for the performers and adds aesthetics to the show.”

The Western Championships will take place March 24-26.