Into the Light: Getting to Know Winter Guard

Unlike the common football season Color Guard everyone knows, Winter Guard is very different.

Winter Guard competitive season begins mid-January and continues through to early April. With most teams averaging four to seven performances each season, the WHS team will perform in five.

“We begin preparing several months before competition,” head captain Anna McDougal said. “Right after marching band is over, we start the process of Winter Guard.”

Unlike marching season guard, Winter Guard is an indoor activity and is not limited by the elements. While Fall Guard is more to enhance the band’s marching show with visual support, Winter Guard is more of a theatric production.

“We select our own music, which can be anything,” guard director Ryan Drakes said. “We have custom designed costumes, flags, and sometimes even props to enhance the production as well.”

The guard competes in head-to-head competitions all over Texas. They have already received two fourth place positions, which is at the top of their classification group. Winter Guards are scored in five different categories: Equipment (flags and weapons), Movement (dance), Ensemble (staging/drill forms), and two categories of General Effect (wow moments in the show, big solo tosses or a large uniform flag phrases).

“It is wise for us to spread our contests out,” Drakes said, “so that we can make enhancements and changes throughout the season.”

At the next competition the team will perform their show “Into the Light” at the Winter Guard International Texas Regional in Austin on the 5th and 6th of March.

“We have come so far, yet I still see a lot of opportunities for this year’s show,” Drakes said. “I can’t wait to see how far we will go over the next five weeks.”

Photo Credit to Mason Schara