Winterguard is a dynamic blend of dance and weaponry performed to music in a choreographed show. These shows are performed before a panel of judges and compete against other shows at the local, regional and national level. Performances involve dance, movement and music as well as flag, rifle and sabre work.
Winterguard performances are held indoors in gymnasiums with the accompaniment of musical recordings, rather than a live band. The gymnasium floor is covered by a tarp, called a “floor,” that often reflects the show’s theme. Props may also be used to further enhance the show design.
Winterguard is part of the color guard program at West Broward which is part of the Performance Ensemble program. Dean Calmer is the Director of Bands.
There are 2 winterguards at West Broward JV Guard
West Broward’s Junior Varsity guard is an entry level program which exists only at the local level. The purpose of this guard is to develop individual skills and promote each student’s technical growth. It is also ideal for more experienced students who do not want to commit the time and/or financial resources required to participate in the Varsity Guard. The JV Guard competes against similar groups in the South Florida circuit. Previous experience is not required; however, a background in dance, gymnastics or baton is helpful. Students seeking additional instruction may schedule private or semi private lessons with one of the instructors.
Varsity guard members have at least 6 months experience in color guard or extensive experience in dance, gymnastics or baton. The Varsity guard will be a highly competitive guard and will compete nationally in 2010. The level of difficulty of the show, as well as the practice and performance commitment is greater than for the JV guard. The financial commitment is also significantly higher for the Varsity guard.
The JV guard rehearses on Mondays & Wednesdays from 3:00-5:30. In addition to the Monday/Wednesday rehearsals, there will be occasional Saturday rehearsals as we prepare for the competitive season. The guard also rehearses on Saturday mornings of competition days. Competitions are sponsored by the South Florida Winterguard Association and held at various south Florida high schools. The Winterguard competition schedule begins with “Premier” in late January and ends with Circuit Championships in late March. The West Broward competition schedule can be found at wbband.com
World Guard rehearsals are held on Mondays & Wednesdays from 5:30-8:30. Design camps are held on weekends in December & January. During this time, the show is developed. Attendance at these design camps is mandatory. Additional rehearsals are held before Regionals and during winter break. Varsity Guard members are required to commit to all rehearsals, competitions and camps including those scheduled during winter & spring break. In addition to the local circuit shows sponsored by SFWGA, the varsity guard will attend a regional competition in Orlando sponsored by WGI (Winterguard International). For the complete varsity guard calendar, visit wbband.com.
Parents may not attend rehearsals but are welcome to watch the final run through (last 15 minutes of rehearsal).
Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA to participate in Winterguard.
Fees, Payments & Fundraising
The winterguard program receives no funding from the school so all costs must be covered by the members. Fees are established on a “fair-share” basis—the amount that each person needs to contribute to fund the basic necessities of the program. Included in the fair share fee are the cost of custom show design, music arrangement, salaries, props, show shirt, entry & registration fees, travel, office & operational expenses, etc. A fee payment schedule will be distributed at the beginning of each season.
Guard members are also responsible for purchasing performance items, equipment and apparel.
All payments should be deposited in the band room safe. Checks should be made payable to WBHSBPA (West Broward High School Band Parent Association.). Please note that there is a $30 fee for all returned checks. All fees are non-refundable. Money earned through fundraising may be used to pay fees.
Fund Raising There are two types of fundraisers: Individual Fundraisers can be used to earn money to go towards your Fair Share or additional fees. Examples are magazine, candy and football or guard program advertising sales. In these cases, the sales revenue is split between the student and the band general fund, for example 25%/75%. The band’s portion covers the cost of the goods (i.e., the magazine subscription, candy or producing a program containing ads). The student’s portion may be applied toward student fees and guard expenses. Fundraising is coordinated by the West Broward Band Parent Association. It is important for guard parents to attend these meetings to be aware of available fundraising activities. The band parents also run a concession booth at the Bank Atlantic Center for hockey games and concerts. If you are interested in working at Bank Atlantic, contact Art Jinete @ 954 296-3090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
General Fund Fundraisers are used to earn money for the entire Band/Guard program to offset expenses such as the purchase of band uniforms, musical instruments, guard floors, flags etc. Examples are car washes, hosting of events such as Guard Shows or garage sales. In most cases, all members are required to participate. Occasionally there will be a minimum sale requirement, such as requiring each member to sell two car wash tickets.
If you have questions about fees or concerns about your ability to pay, please contact the Band Parent Association treasurer, Lourdes Travieso @ Lourdes.email@example.com
Submitting Payments & Paperwork
All payments should be placed in the safe inside the band room.
Forms should be placed in the designated box in the band director’s office.
There are no auditions for JV guard flag/dance line. All interested students with a good attitude and work ethic are welcome. The JV weapon line is chosen in early December.
The decision as to who will make the Varsity Guard is one that is considered throughout the entire marching season, as instructors observe skill, work ethic, attitude, cooperation, and effort. Varsity guard candidates (and parents) are asked to sign a commitment contract prior to being considered for a position on the Varsity Guard. The Varsity Guard roster is posted in November.
Attendance & Absences
Attendance at rehearsals and performances is required and necessary. Any conflicts with the rehearsal schedule must be discussed with Daniel as soon as possible. Any conflicts with the competition schedule must be brought to Daniel’s attention prior to the first rehearsal except in the case of an unforeseen emergency. Homework, doctor/orthodontist appointments, lack of transportation and personal events are not acceptable reasons for missing a rehearsal.
Attendance at rehearsals and performances is 100% REQUIRED and NECESSARY. Any conflict with the rehearsal or performance schedule must be discussed with Daniel prior to the first rehearsal. Students who are unable to commit to the season’s schedule should not participate in Varsity Guard.
Costumes, Equipment & Supplies
JV members are required to wear blue soffee type shorts and white tank top to rehearsals. Hair must be in a ponytail with no stray “wisps”. Varsity members wear all black (leotard, tank top, soffee shorts, dance pants or tights). Students may wear dance shoes or socks for rehearsal.
The cost of the winterguard costume is included in the winterguard fees. Alterations may be required for proper costume fit. Students must also purchase show shoes for the season. Once the shoe is selected, we will place a bulk order for everyone.
Each year a shirt is designed based on the show theme & colors with the members names listed. Members receive one show shirt (long sleeve tee) as part of their fees. Students and parents may order additional shirts to wear at the contests. Order forms will be distributed in December.
Students will be required to purchase specific make-up for marching & winter season.
Students receive practice flags and poles and up to 4 show flags. The price of this equipment is included in the fees. All equipment must be labeled with the student’s name. Students are assessed fees for missing or damaged equipment and damage other than normal wear & tear.
Each year, approximately $6000 is spent on flags for the color guard. The cost would be even greater if we were not able to reuse flags for a second season. Individual flags range in price from $15 (practice flags) to $65 for the more intricate fabrics and design. We need the cooperation of each member to handle equipment with care in order to ensure that flags sustain minimal damage during the season.
Flags must always be rolled and secured when carried. Whenever possible, they should be transported in a flag bag. When not is use, flags should be placed in an area where they will not be stepped on. Please do not tie knots in your flag or use it to sit on. When removing your flag from the pole, carefully remove the tape to avoid ripping the flag sleeve. Flags must always be stored in your flag bag. Flags left out in the band room or gym will be confiscated.
Remember, your flag(s) is your responsibility. Do not lend it to another member. If your flag is damaged, it is your responsibility to have repairs done immediately before further damage can occur. Repairs may be done by your parent or local seamstress/tailor. Flags may also be turned in to Mrs. Hauck for repair. There will be a charge for this service depending on the extent of the damage. At the end of the season, your flag must be returned clean, folded and placed in a gallon size Ziploc bag.
Students selected to spin rifle in 2008 will be given the first rifle at no cost by the instructor. Students have been instructed on “taping” the rifle to minimize breakage, however, rifles do break. Additional rifles may be purchased for $40. Sabres may be rented from the school for $20/year.
Students are required to purchase the following items for color guard:
White & black electrical tape $ 1/roll
Shoes $30 (approx)
Make up cost varies
We are looking at the possibility of purchasing warm up suits and duffel bags however, we may put this off until next year.
Instructors & Staff Director of Guards
Daniel Riley is the Director of Guards at West Broward. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Winterguard Organization & Class Organizations Winterguard is governed by two organizations:
WGI-Winterguard International (www.wgi.org) is the national Winterguard organization. WGI hosts the annual competition in Dayton where our World Guard performs.
SFWGA-South Florida Winterguard Association (www.sfwga.org) is the local circuit for south Florida. SFWGA is a member of WGI.
Winterguard is divided into classes for the purpose of competition. Each guard unit is assigned to a class based upon the experience level of the team and its members.
Winter Guard International (WGI)
WGI recognizes three classes (in order of increasing skill level):
The classes are further divided based on affiliation:
Scholastic (S): Associated with a particular school.
Independent (I): Not associated with a particular school.
WGI is the international organization for Winterguard and sponsors regional competitions throughout the US & Europe. Winterguard season ends with the national competition in Dayton, Ohio in April. Individual units pay membership dues and entry fees to WGI in order to participate in the local shows. Only the Varsity Guard participates in WGI. South Florida Winterguard Association (SFWGA)
SFWGA is the local circuit for south Florida winterguards and sponsors the competitions held in the south Florida region. Individual units pay membership dues and entry fees to SFWGA in order to participate in the local shows. SFWGA recognizes several additional classes of guards (in order of increasing skill level):
Middle School (MS)
Scholastic Novice (SN): Usually new high school programs
Scholastic B (SB)
Scholastic A (SA)
Independent A (IA)
JV: The second guard in schools with two guards.
National A (NA): A class guards competing on the National level
Scholastic Open (SO)
Independent Open (IO)
Scholastic World (SW)
Independent World (IW)
Following Premier, SFWGA may adjust a unit’s classification up or down depending upon the team’s performance.
Winterguard performance schedules as well as directions to the contests may be found on the official South Florida Winterguard Association site (www.sfwga.org). Click on “Contest Information” and you will see a list of upcoming events. “Performance Order” will give a list of the warm up and performance times. Note that this schedule is subject to change. After the event the scores (totals, rankings and for each category) are posted on the site.
Some of the Winterguard shows also feature performances by indoor percussion units.
Competition & Judging Local Winterguard Shows
The JV guard typically attends Premier, Championships and 4-5 additional competitions during the season. Transportation is provided by school buses and chaperones are needed for each event. The chaperones are coordinated by the VP of guard operations.
Competitions begin on Saturday morning with a rehearsal at the school. Following rehearsal, students will change into costume & make up, and eat lunch (brought from home) prior to departing for the competition. Students will be told exactly what to wear and bring and what time to report by the guard captains. Students who miss the morning rehearsal will not perform with the group.
Upon arrival to the competition site, the guard will check in and begin warm up. Parents (except chaperones) are not allowed at guard warm up. Following the performance, the instructors go over the performance with the students. Once that is done and the equipment and floor are loaded on the truck, students are free to buy food from the concession stand and enter the gym to watch other guards (back side seating only). JV guard members are expected to “pull the floor” for the Varsity guard (and vice versa) at the designated report time. At the conclusion of the show, there is a captain’s retreat where scores are announced and trophies are awarded. Parents usually meet up with their guard member on the gym floor following retreat. After that, students board the bus and return to the school. Students are expected to ride the bus to and from the competition with the team.
The Varsity guard will most likely follow a similar schedule this year. They follow the same procedure at local shows as the JV guard.
In addition to the local competitions, The Varsity guard will attend one out of town regional this year. Detailed itineraries and travel information will be handed out as we near the competition date.
Judging is a complex process that evaluates flag, rifle and sabre skills (Equipment), individual body control and expression (Movement), working together as a group (Ensemble) and General Effect, which includes music selection, theme of the performance, and the degree to which the performers engage the audience. Each competition has a panel of judges who evaluate the various aspects of the performance. The judging criteria vary based upon the guard unit’s Class. In other words, a score of 75 for a Scholastic B unit does not indicate a similar level of performance as a score of 75 for a National A team.
Each caption (equipment, movement, ensemble) consists of two parts: the skill level of the material that is presented and how well the students perform it. The scoring system is built around a learning philosophy. Students progress through stages of being introduced to new material, learning and practicing the work and finally mastering its execution. The most successful programs continually challenge their students by introducing new and more complex work throughout the season. Therefore, a unit that is challenging its students to develop new skills may score higher than a similar unit whose performers perfectly perform less challenging work. Many hours of training are required to evaluate the different captions. Spectators usually base their perception of a performance on what they can relate to the most, overall General Effect.
Transportation & Travel & Travel Guard members will travel to and from competitions as a team. Any deviation from this policy must be submitted in writing at least 1 week prior to the event. Transportation via school bus is provided to all local competitions, with the exception of neighboring schools (Flanagan, Cypress Bay & Everglades) Parents are responsible for transporting their student to the performance site at the designated time for these 3 locations.
Upon return to the school following competitions, students are responsible for unloading the truck and putting equipment away prior to dismissal.
Charter buses are used for transportation to events outside of the tri-county area (regionals).
Behavior & AttitudeBehavior & Attitude
Guard members are expected to:
Display a motivated and proper attitude at rehearsals
Learn all changes and new work before the next rehearsal after a rehearsal is missed
Follow all rules, requirements and regulations of the organization
Report all injuries to the staff immediately
Where are rehearsals held?
JV Guard afternoon rehearsals are held outside on campus. Saturday morning rehearsals are held in the gym if available. Varsity guard rehearsals begin in the cafeteria and end in the gym when possible.
How can I get involved?
Winterguard is part of the band program at West Broward. Guard parents should attend the monthly meetings held in the band room on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. Schedules, fundraising, upcoming events and activities are discussed at these meetings. In addition to the meetings, guard members have a representative on the Band Parents Board of Directors. Nuria Battaglia (WBHS.PTSA.email@example.com) is the guard representative for the 2008-2009 school year.
Volunteers are needed for sewing, painting the floor, building props, driving the truck to shows, participating in floor crew in addition to chaperoning.
How do I sign up to chaperone?
Chaperones are needed for each competition. This year we will need 2-3 chaperones per group per event. To chaperone, return the completed chaperone availability form to the staff. Every effort will be made to give every interested parent the opportunity to chaperone at least one event. To chaperone local shows, Level 1 security clearance is required. If you have not done so already, go to getinvolvedineducation.com and register as a volunteer. Level 2 clearance is required to chaperone overnight events. Please let Diane Hauck know if you have level 2 clearance. Arrangements will be made to get level 2 clearance for chaperones selected to chaperone the Orlando regional. Please note that chaperones are responsible for the cost of their Orlando hotel room.
What is the cost to attend a Winterguard show?
Local shows cost between $9 and $10. Regional competition entry fees are set by WGI and are listed on the web site. Power Regionals and Nationals charge an entry fee for preliminary and finals performances. A combination ticket (prelims/finals) is offered at a reduced rate. Parents attending Dayton should purchase tickets early as seats sell out. Get together with a group so you can sit together.
When should I take the SAT/ACT’s
Research upcoming dates well in advance and plan ahead. Check the SAT site at www.collegeboard.com or ACT at www.act.org. Find dates during the summer or between performance seasons. Be sure to leave time to take the test again, if necessary, on a date when it won’t be a conflict. Even though the tests are in the morning and the competitions are in the afternoon, if your child doesn’t practice with the group in the morning they likely won’t be able to perform that day.