Teens set judging aside to celebrate their shows

Snider Winter Guard

High school winter guard units soon will finish three months of competition.

Guard units have been setting up, performing and exhibiting at gyms at 7-minute intervals. They will continue that pace again on March 11 and perhaps again at the state finals March 18. “By the time the kids perform and put everything away it’s time to get back on the bus,” said Brittany Satterthwaite, the Concordia Lutheran High School winter guard coach.

Just for one night — Friday, March 17 — there will be no awards and no hurry. “It’s actually just a fun thing,” Satterthwaite said. “We call it the Area Showcase, and it is really so the kids can meet each other and perform for the parents. It’s super informal.”

So informal, in fact, that Concordia will not charge admission. “If you want to give a $1 donation you can, but it’s no pressure,” Satterthwaite said. “The kids actually sit in the stands with the parents. It’s more about building relationships between the schools than it is about competing.”

“The more the merrier,” Satterthwaite said. “It’s for parents and grandparents and whoever wants to come.”

Snider High School will bring the Class A Varsity Guard. Bishop Dwenger High School will bring the cadet guard and Regional A guard and the winter percussion ensemble. Leo High School’s first-year guard will participate. Heritage, DeKalb and Norwell units will perform.

Concordia began the tradition in 2010. The Cadets weren’t able to compete in the state finals that year because frequent heavy snow had canceled the qualifying events. “There were a lot of other groups that wanted to participate because they were in the same boat as we were, and the kids had so much fun that we made it an annual thing,” she said.

Concordia’s 2017 show is “Kaleidoscope Heart.” It’s a marimba piece with a voice-over. “It’s essentially about God’s love, how he asks us to love each other and ourselves in all these different ways through our words and our actions, and all the ways that we are capable of loving each other,” Satterthwaite said.

Satterthwaite directs the Concordia, DeKalb, Norwell and Heritage guards. “It takes a lot of planning,” she said. “I just try to stay on top of the design, doing that way before rehearsals start so I have an idea of what I’m going to do with each group.”

Concordia competes in Regional Class A. “Just in Concordia’s class alone there are 70 color guards, so they have us split into rounds,” Satterthwaite said. Concordia competed Saturday at Mooresville, but did not make the top 12 to qualify for semifinals March 11 at Plainfield High School. “They seeded us based on our preseason score and they put us at two different locations. The length of 70 color guards at a single site would be overwhelming.”


Winter guard Class A, Open Class and World Class State Preliminaries. Saturday, March 11, beginning at 11 a.m., Center Grove High school, Greenwood, Ind. Adult admission $8. In Class A: Snider performs at 12:12 p.m.; Carroll Varsity performs at 4:04 p.m. In Open Class, Homestead performs at 5:55 p.m. Get full schedule and other details at ihscga.org.

Regional A Semifinals and Divisional Finals for Divisional Regional A. Saturday, March 11, Plainfield High School. In Regional A: Bishop Dwenger Radiance Winter Guard performs at 11:21 a.m.; Carroll JV performs at 12:10 p.m. In Divisional Regional A: Heritage performs at 3:26 p.m.; Woodlan performs at 5:04 p.m.

State finals. Saturday, March 18, Center Grove High School, Greenwood, Ind. Adult admission $10. Watch for the schedule and get other details at ihscga.org.