The Sport of the Arts: Jump into the season with the winter ensembles

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Kevin Greene

The Northwest Guilford color guards and winter percussion ensemble are currently immersed in their winter season of indoor marching arts.

During the winter season, the color guard is divided into two groups: junior varsity and varsity. The JV guard focuses on learning necessary technique to be successful in the sport while varsity focuses on taking the technique they have learned and applying it to choreography.

“The guards are divided into two different realms,” director Mike Marcantano said. “From a varsity being experienced or have shown some sort of experience in either dance or equipment that is on the national realm, the JV guard is more for training to get on that level (of varsity).”

There is a variety of staff members who work with the winter guards who all have a different role in the planning, designing, staging and choreographing each of the shows. 

“Both guards compete in the same class and are still judged on the same sheet however, the varsity guard is treated more along the lines of a National A (a guard that competes at Winter Guard International’s (WGI) World Championships),” Marcantano said.

The varsity guard will compete in class Scholastic A and will be attending a WGI power regional in Atlanta, Georgia. The JV guard will be competing in Scholastic AAA. Both guards will be competing in the Carolina Winter Ensemble Association’s (CWEA) local competitions in February and March. 

The Winter Percussion Ensemble (WPE) will also be competing in the CWEA circuit. 

WPE is directed by assistant band director Kevin Greene. Greene has many aspirations for this season and he wants his students to having the mindset of being the best they can possibly be. 

“My goal is always the same in regards to which season we are in or what we are doing, it’s always trying to get our students to the point where they’re all having the same mindset that we are going to be the best that we can possibly be and nothing in the world is going to stop us from achieving that goal,” Greene said.

it’s going to take work in order to achieve what you want to achieve”

— Kevin Greene

The concept that mindset is everything is what drives the musical athletes to achieve something that is bigger than themselves. It is what pushes them to practice even when it gets hard. For both the winter guards and WPE, competitions and new show elements can bring challenges but having the necessary mindset to be able to believe that together they can achieve something great is what helps them to get through the long days and tough practices.

“They love drumming, they love making noise and really the majority of them already have that mindset that they want to get better and that is something we have all been working on for years, is just getting the right people with the right mindset,” Greene said.

In the future, Greene would like to take WPE to compete on a national and international level.

As for show themes and titles, they have yet to be released to the public. There will be a “Friends and Family” performance in late January to kick off the competition season– the time and date have not been released.