Into the Swing of Things

Into the Swing of Things

TOHS winter guard swung their way to the top on Feb. 2 at the WGASC competition.

The Winter Guard Association of Southern California, WGASC, is the largest color guard circuit in the US with over 355 members annually. Thousand Oaks High School winter guard performed this year’s signature show at Monrovia High School on March 2.

The TOHS team performed at about two o’clock on Saturday. Results of the competition aren’t available to access as of yet.

The team captain, senior Adalia Zhou, spoke about how the team has been practicing and their ideas for the routine.

“We have had about nine to twelve hours of practice per week in preparation, working on choreography and perfecting skills,” Zhou said.

TOHS sophomore Millie Shulka discusses this year’s competition schedule.

“We have a color guard show and we have competitions leading up to championships. We practice three days a week from two to five to prepare,” Shukla said.

Zhou felt confident going into the competition because of this training schedule.

“We felt confident knowing that we had practiced as hard as we could. Of course we felt some nerves, but overall we were pretty confident,” Zhou said.

Shukla is also confident in her team’s ability to score well in the future of the WGASC competition.

“We all know the routines pretty well. We’ve been practicing a lot,” said Shukla.

Shukla is excited to see the success of their routine at competition after just over three months of practice on it. During their first round of competition on Feb 23, Thousand Oaks High School got fifth place overall.

Their routine for the second round is titled “The Swing of Things” and featured upbeat jazz music. The guard wore purple and orange uniforms and had matching flags. The team also twirled black, white and yellow polka dotted flags and shining white rifles.

“We’re doing this sort of jazz piece that has a lot of scatting in it. We’re going to have a lot of rifle work and there are two flag holds that are really important.” Shukla elaborated.

Winter guard also performed for Sights of Conejo, which is a drum line and winter guard exhibition held at Thousand Oaks High School last Saturday. The event allowed students to watch what their peers in band and winter guard had been working on for the past couple of months.

Zhou’s favorite part of both WGASC and winter guard as a whole is seeing everyone’s hard work come to fruition in the end.

“My favorite part of winter guard is seeing the entire show come together. We each spend so much time to improve our individual parts and can show off our efforts to an audience. Being able to create a complete work makes it incredibly satisfying,” Zhou said.

Shukla’s favorite part is watching the other groups.

“My favorite part is actually getting to see other guards perform as well and that allows us to improve,” Shukla said.

She also discusses some of the differences between winter guard and standard color guard.

“We get to practice indoors [for winter guard] so that we can actually focus on the performing itself rather than having to deal with adjusting to the wind,” Shukla said.

This makes it easier to know where the flags and rifles are going to fall so that they can be caught easier.

The team has worked hard to get to where they are and succeed at their sport. Their performances are stunning as a result, and the upcoming results of the competition will hopefully reflect that.

Overall, WGASC is a great opportunity for students from all over California to show off what they have achieved throughout the year and to be inspired by other team’s performances.