SRU Winterguard won first place in two Winterguard International awards in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and was awarded second in the Indianapolis regional competition this past season.
The Winterguard performed in 10 competitions this winter.
Kaylee Priddy, a junior double major in fine arts and philosophy has been doing Colorguard for 14 seasons, three of them with Slippery Rock. Priddy said that difference between Colorguard and Winterguard is the competition level. She said that Winterguard is far more competitive and geared towards people with a dance background and experience.
“It was important for us to go to these competitions and see what color guard is really like,” Priddy said.
Taylor Falbo, sophomore history major said that Winterguard accepts 18 to 24 people after tryouts. Falbo originally joined Marching Pride as a clarinetist but decided to join Colorguard alongside her best friend.
“Colorguard was more fun,” Falbo said. “I love the competition level and my teammates. It’s a great environment.”
At the regional level, there are multiple divisions that colleges compete in, including Independent A, Scholastic A, Independent Open, Independent World and Scholastic World. SRU competes in the Independent A division.
Alongside the regional level, the Winterguard also competed in the Three Rivers Winter Ensemble Association, winning every competition in the local circuit.
“I absolutely love performing,” Priddy said. “I get chills. It’s a rush to make eye contact with somebody and know that you nailed that toss.”
Falbo mentioned that next year the Winterguard is going to Dayton for the World Championships.
Brendan Wilson, a freshman soon to declare a major in music performance and education in the fall 2019 semester said that color guard is where he met some of his best friends.
Wilson couldn’t join Colorguard when he was younger because his band director didn’t allow boys to join at the time, but joined his sophomore year of high school and continued Colorguard at SRU the beginning of his freshman year.
“It’s the best experience I’ve ever had,” Wilson said.
Falbo said that Winterguard is not only a family, but that it’s taught her time management, social skills, and how to be more confident.
“Guard is one place I can demonstrate my skills,” Falbo said. “I like it because I can relieve all the stress and be in an environment where everybody loves the same thing.”
Wilson and Priddy also agree that Winterguard has taught them how to better manage their time.
“Winterguard has taught me how to be more responsible as well,” Wilson said. “It’s brought networking opportunities and skills that I’ll use for the rest of my life.”
“It’s taught me how to perform and be comfortable in tense and high-stress situations,” Priddy said. “I also learned how to take criticism and become a well-rounded person.”
Both Winterguard and Colorguard hold auditions, which will be held May 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Swope Music Hall for the fall 2019 semester.
Wilson said that the Colorguard is always looking for more people with talent and skill to audition.
“This past fall I auditioned for a big name Guard,” Priddy said. “I got a callback, and that was enough for me. It doesn’t hurt to try.”