Heritage finds the Gold in ‘Those Sweet Words’

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The Gold Award winter guard of Heritage High School includes (front row, from left) Kylee Hockemeyer, Julia Watkins, Angela Miller, Lexi Platek, April Doughman, Brynnah Welling, (back row) Rebecca Meredith, Stephanie Velazquez, Melissa Bryan, Abby Saalfrank, Jasmine Baber, guard captain Natalya Thompson, Brianna Blair, guard technician Anna Huss, and (not pictured) Kayla Drake. Brittany Satterthwaite directs the Heritage winter guard.

The Heritage High School winter guard brought home the Gold this season. The guard competed March 11 at the Indiana High School Color Guard event at Plainfield High School.

“We are very, very proud of what they accomplished,” said Brittany Satterthwaite, Heritage guard instructor. “We took them to four contests this season and they brought home two regular season Golds, and a Gold at their Divisional State Finals at Plainfield High School where they also placed fifth of 25 participating groups.

The guard will perform their 2017 show one final time, Friday evening, March 17, at a winter guard showcase at Concordia Lutheran High School, Fort Wayne.

“Their program was called ‘Those Sweet Words’ with music by Norah Jones. The girls hold up signs that read ‘I love you’ and ‘I love you too.’ We tried to stay pretty basic and cute in design, so that we could focus on teaching and training as we continue to grow,” Satterthwaite said in an email.

“Overall the group is very young,” she continued. “We started several of these girls as sixth-graders last winter, so it has been a lot of fun to see them grow.”

The squad will lose some seniors. “Abby Saalfrank is one of them, and we chose her to be one of our soloists this year. It is always interesting when you combine kids that have enormous skill sets with kids that are brand new to the program but I tried to write appropriate work for the group and then feature the more experienced kids to give them moments to be challenged and to shine,” Satterthwaite said. “Abby started marching in fourth grade and has continued through to her senior year.”

Senior Melissa Bryan began marching as a freshman and marched all four years. Senior Jasmine Barber marched one year as an eighth-grader — and returned to the winter guard this year. “Although Abby and Melissa are both very advanced from years of experience, Jasmine also added a lot to the group with her kind and quiet leadership,” Satterthwaite said.

“Josiah Phenning is the band director at Heritage. As soon as he was hired, he jumped right in and has some great plans for the future of all of the music programs at Heritage, including the winter guard,” Satterthwaite said. “He gives me a lot of freedom to be creative and to push the girls as needed. We are both so excited about where we are headed with our awesome kids!”

Satterthwaite will return to Heritage for next school year’s marching and winter seasons. “We have finalized our design for the marching season, and we will begin teaching music, technique, and marching beginning in early May,” she said.