As the wind picked up and the clouds rolled in, Millersville’s Color Guard continued to launch riffles, twisting midair. To them, it is another typical practice before the football game. The show must go on.
Color guard is a combination of dance and skill. The guard spins and preforms dance moves to the music the marching band provides.
“Color guard is an addition to the marching band and we spin equipment, mainly flags, sabres, and rifles,” explains senior Brittany VanCisco, a captain.
The color guard only preforms at Millersville home games. In order to prepare for half-time performances, they practice four hours during the week with extra practice on Saturdays before a game. Members are also expected to rehearse technique on their own time.
The MU marching band also participates in the Collegiate Marching Band Festival. This display takes place in Allentown, PA on September 30. It is not a competition, but a showcase for collegiate marching bands in northern PA.
The difference between collegiate and high school band can be hard to differentiate. While the pressure is taken off because of a judgeless setting, less time is given to nail down a routine.
“College marching band is basically just for show whereas in some high schools [guard members] competed and got judged based off of [their] performance,” says VanCisco.
“We learned all of the drill for this show during our one week of band camp and that would [have] never happened in my high school,” says Becca Socorso, a returning guard member.
This year’s show theme is “joy”. During the show, the guard comes out on the field with a lot of grey and slowly adds in more colors with their flags. “Ode to Joy” is one of the songs featured by the band. At the end of the show, band forms the word “joy” from an aerial view.
“Shows are so exciting and the crowd’s energy transfers into our show and the way that we perform it for them,” says VanCisco.
Because of the limited time, the girls have a built-in support system. Some help with each other’s show make-up as others assisted with hair.
“The girls this year are phenomenal; it is a privilege to be captain of such a great group of girls and one boy,” says VanCisco.
The talent is not limited to use on the Millersville guard program. A few members have spun with competition-based color guards.
“I spun with Field of View for the 2013 indoor season,” says Becca Socorso.
Although a color guard season can be filled with stress and injuries, it said to be rewarding. A good performance can make all the time and energy given worth it.
“As captain I get to do what I love the most, helping people become good at something that they have a true passion for,” says VanCisco.