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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

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Color guard captivates with their camaraderie

    Just after sunrise on the football field, the sharp rat-a-tat-tat of marching band’s drums pierces the morning silence. They are joined by the color guard, whirling large flags in time with the percussion, brass, and wind instruments.

   The guard is the visual aspect of marching band, performing ballet-like dance moves in formation alongside the musicians. They perform four movements, twirling different combinations of flags, aluminum sabers, and wooden rifles to each.

   “I never knew there were going to be weapons to spin,” laughed sophomore Alexis Do. “I was scared it was going to be intimidating, but it’s not.”

   The pre-opener is the first movement, introducing the second movement, which is the opener. It is here that the music gets more cheerful, and all the members use flags in their choreography. The third movement is the ballad, when the mood gets slower and weapons like sabers are used because of their delicacy.

   “For ballad and the beginning of the last movement, there’s some separation, like saber, flag line, rifle, flag line,” explained Do.

   The main piece is the closer in the fourth movement, where the tempo becomes very upbeat, and the guard uses swing flags that have two sticks. They incorporate elements from their previous movements, spinning their flags in unison to top their performance off.

   Do describes the entrance of the guard members in the third movement and the double rotation tosses they perform in the fourth movement as her favorite parts of the performance. She especially appreciates the beauty and satisfaction of catching the flags in unison.

   Color guard showcases their routines at tournaments, where they are judged on togetherness, visual appeal, and use of equipment.

      “I’ve never had a performance where I was completely not nervous,” admitted senior Mandy Tan, one of the color guard captains. “But it’s also very exciting to show people what you’ve been working on for so long.”

   Anticipation before competition runs high for everyone, but the team is there to support each other.

   “I definitely feel like performing as a group is better than performing alone,” said sophomore Rheanna Beltran. “You know that you have people in the same situation to be like, ‘You got this, we’re gonna have a good run!’”

   To prepare, the team practices extensively during zero period every day, for three hours after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at school while the band is performing at away games.

   “A lot of times you have to be serious, and sometimes it takes a lot of hard work,” acknowledged Beltran. “You have to push yourself, but when we have a good performance, it’s really rewarding in the end.”

   For Beltran, this payoff comes from her passion for the activity and the support of her teammates. Do described how she always has a grin on her face during performances that inevitably spreads to the rest of the guard.

   “I’m always happy when we’re performing, and when we’re bonding together,” Beltran explained beamingly. “Being with the people in band and guard, they make me happy.”

   A closeness to the other members is shared across the team. 

   Much of this tight-knit nature can be attributed to the shared experiences that the ten people in color guard go through together.

   “It’s almost like another family in school,” Tan said fondly. “It’ll teach you a lot of different things, not just about dance and equipment work, but how to work as a team.”

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About the Contributor
Sophia Pu
Sophia Pu, Editor in Chief
Sophia Pu is the Editor in Chief for the school newspaper, marking her fourth year with the team. Outside of her editorial duties, Sophia is involved in Speech and Debate and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time in nature. Her commitment to the newspaper grew from a passion for interviewing a diverse range of individuals she might not have interacted with otherwise.
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