Performing Pandemonium with Woodford’s Winter Guard!

An overview of the winter guard season with interviews from members.


Arissa Keith

Woodford’s Winter Guard strikes a pose while performing their show, “Pandemonium.”

You may be wondering what winter guard is…it’s simply the sport of color guard (marching band) but performed indoors. Guard is a combination of flags, sabers, rifles, and dance to put on a performance. Their season runs from mid-December to the beginning of April, and they will participate in a total of five competitions.

From an outside perspective, winter guard performances may look effortless and organized. However, a lot of hard work and dedication is required to pull this together. During an interview with Max Savage (12), they described to me what a typical guard rehearsal looks like. Once the team arrives at the school and sets up their tarp to perfection, they “typically run a few laps and do conditioning, which is followed by stretching led by the captains.” The team then proceeds to warm up, doing “across-the-floors, which consist of a mix between dance technique and different ways to engage our bodies to gain confidence and hone our skills,” said Max. Next, the team is split into groups in order to work on different parts of the show. Toward the end of rehearsal, everyone comes together and runs through the entire performance a few times, with everyone going “all-out.”

I love putting expressions on my face and really acting out the show. It makes the story more readable and it is just a lot of fun.

— Sarah Mason (12)

So far, the team has competed twice, missing one competition due to inclement weather. In fact, most members’ favorite part of winter guard is the performance. “I love putting expressions on my face and really acting out the show. It makes the story more readable, and it is just a lot of fun,” said Sarah Mason (12).

Sarah Mason, a Senior at WCHS and a captain on the team, has been participating in winter and color guard for two years now. “Winter Guard really tickled my fancy,” said Sarah when asked why she decided to join Woodford’s guard team. As a captain, Sarah is “an extension of the coaches.” She leads stretches, dance techniques, and anything else that the coaches ask of her. Sarah focuses on helping people learn choreography if they have missed previous practices and giving encouraging pep talks to her peers. “I have given more pep talks than I can count!” said Mason.

Woodford’s Winter Guard sets up for their toss at Lafayette’s competition. Photo by Arissa Keith.

I attended one of the competitions on Saturday, February 26th at Lafayette High School to see for myself what winter guard was all about. The performances were not long, running about 3 minutes per team, but the entire event was an all-day affair. Woodford County’s theme for their show is “Pandemonium,” which is defined as a wild uproar or chaotic situation. Their performance tells a story of madness and despair. The flags and tarp used are red and black, a symbol of the anger and darkness expressed in their show. The team is dressed in all-black clothing, accompanied by dark makeup on their eyes and lips. The combination of graceful dance, flying flags, and ominous music makes it impossible to look away. There is so much going on all at once but in the best way possible. Performers start on the ground and work their way across the floor through yoga-like movement, eventually picking up their flags and rifles.

Winter guard performances are immensely intriguing, grabbing your attention as the flags and rifles are tossed into the air, and caught effortlessly. I highly encourage you to go watch our wonderful winter guard team perform at one of their upcoming competitions. The dates and information of future performances are listed below:

  • March 19th at Floyd Central High School
  • March 23rd (community performance) at Woodford County High School
  • March 26th at the BB&T Arena at NKU