Color guard prepares winter performances, while looking for more funding

Members+of+Bearden%27s+color+guard+practice+for+their+upcoming+winter+performances.

Mackenzie Lee

Members of Bearden’s color guard practice for their upcoming winter performances.

With the start of the winter semester, Bearden’s color guard is preparing to face a new challenge this year: winter guard training. Along with that challenge comes another: winter guard funding.

Due to the large number of girls participating in color guard this year, the group has experienced a shortage of equipment including sabres (blunt swords), flags, and rifles.

“It’s become a big problem since everyone wants to use weapons, and a lot of them are in bad condition with holes and stuff, so the older seniors have to be like ‘yeah, you can use this rifle, just don’t break it,’” senior Genesis Savilla said. “Things would be so much easier and fun if we had some more equipment.”

Savilla, along with junior Taylor Jenkins, is in charge of determining a fundraising avenue. Although nothing solid has been determined, they have many ideas, such as selling personalized messages in a bottle around Valentine’s Day or doing a pancake breakfast.

Another possibility is passing around a donation bucket during potential basketball performances, as part of winter guard.

Traditionally, winter guard is an activity derived from military ceremonies or veterans organizations ceremonies. Unlike traditional color guard, winter guard is performed indoors, usually in a gymnasium or an indoor arena.

Although the basketball performances would not be considered winter guard performances due to cost and effort, the performances would help fund the guard’s activities.

“The gym has the space to perform, and passing around a bucket would be a great way to earn some funds,” Jenkins said. “If we do end up performing during the games, people could be inspired by what they see and donate more.”

Another attribute unique to winter guard is the use of rifles in performances.

Although rifles have been incorporated in football performances before, they usually remain in the background compared to the vibrant, large flags, better suited to the large fields with a far away audience.  In winter guard, however, rifles are at the forefront.

Rifle training requires more practice time, since guard members must go through muscle memory training as well as getting used to the weight of the rifle, which is heavier than the flags new members are used to.

“If you don’t start out with a good base technique, everything else you learn will be sloppy, “ color guard instructor Kristin Johnson said. “It is kind of like building a house on sand instead of a slab of concrete.”

Rifle performances may seem daunting at first, but new members are excited to give it a whirl.

“The work may be challenging, but everything is visually stimulating when it all comes together, but mostly it is just fun,” junior Taylor Leonard said. “Overall, it is just a very rewarding experience.”