As you throw the baton up, the air around you is electrified. As the music plays around you, you strike the final pose. That is the life of a Winter Guard member. Pattonville Color Guard has gone undefeated at the Farmington Marching Invitational and the Class 3A Best Color Guard at the Fox High School Invitational, according to Charlie Bourrage, Color and Winter Guard director.
There are upcoming tryouts for Winter Guard October 28, November 2, and November 4 in the band room from 6-8 PM. Winter Guard practices three days a week with different regimens. Monday is a Dance class, Tuesday is practice with the band, and Thursday is sectionals.
The Color Guard has high hopes for their winter guard season. “I feel exhilarated,” freshman and Color Guard first year Thomas Wilson said. “So far we have 2 grand champions, I expect we are going to get two more,” Imani Miller, a senior, said.
As seniors move on and freshmen are ushered in, it can be uneasy for some groups because it means new relationships to build and trust to gain. Color Guard, however, are more excited than ever to teach the new freshman.
Mr. Bourrage creates a culture of teamwork. “This is a vital part for the longevity of the Marching Band. If you have no new performers to replace your seniors, the program will eventually die off. I do my best to recruit from the middle schools and have the current members do the same. The good thing about this sport/activity is that anyone can participate and you need any prior training. We are inclusive and welcoming to everyone. Also it’s a great way to have 125 friends to start off your high school experience!”
Starting a new season can be quite skittish for Color Guard participants, but Pattonville stands unflinchingly. “This is my fourth year teaching at Pattonville HS and my 24th year teaching this [activity] to schools across [Missouri] and all over the midwest. I have seen and done most everything but each program and year present it’s challenges. It’s my job to put the puzzle together for the students and make them shine when it counts!” Mr. Bourrage said.
For each performance, Mr. Bourrage analyzes its downfalls and its best characteristics. “This year’s production is very earthy, aggressive, and fun. We focused a lot [on] improvisation. When you’re wearing a body tattoo as a costume, you can’t be timid. You have to own it!” Mr. Bourrage said.