Flags in Florida: World Guard to attend Southeast Power Regional in Orlando, Fla.
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Earning seven consecutive Indiana High School Color Guard Association (IHSCGA) State Championships and four Winter Guard International (WGI) World Championships since its founding in 2003, the CHS World Guard ranks among the best in the nation. The group is currently preparing for the WGI Southeast Power Regional in Orlando, Fla., which will take place on March 25 and 26.
Color guards across the nation will be competing in the Regional. According to color guard director Rosie Queen, one of the major reasons why the CHS guard is making the long trip to Florida is to see their competitors.
“Two of our main competitors nationally, Flanagan High School and Tarpon Springs High School, will be at that regional to compete with us,” Queen said. “It will be a nice way to see some of our main competition before the big World Championships in April.”
Last year, CHS came in second to Tarpon Springs in the Scholastic World division. This division is the highest class school color guards can compete in within the six classes offered: Scholastic A, Independent A, Scholastic Open, Independent Open, Scholastic World and Independent World. High schools fall under the scholastic classes, while other groups fall under the independent classes. Furthermore, each division denote difficulty, with World divisions typically having the most experienced members.
Regardless of class, the concept of the show is most important to success, and Queen said this year’s theme will be especially unique.
“We are doing a gorgeous piece of music called ‘Arabesque’ by Debussy,” Queen said. “It offers us a chance to show our feminine softer side and expressive qualities, which is a departure to some of the shows we have done the last few years.”
Stella Mo, World Guard member and senior, said she agrees. Mo said she is unsure of what the audience’s reception will be to their theme, but still hopes it is successful.
“This year’s show concept is very different from what the World Guard has done in years past, so I’m more anticipating mixed reactions, but I don’t know,” Mo said. “Even though it’s different, I’m excited to see where it goes and I think it’s going to be an awesome show.”
Although the primary focus will be competition, this trip will also offer new opportunities to the guard members. Unlike previous competitions at places like Bowling Green, Ky. or Dayton, Ohio, according to Queen, the Southeast Power Regional will also serve as a reward for those involved in the World Guard.
“It will be a lot of fun for the kids and staff to go to sunny Florida instead of a regional that we have been to every year,” Queen said. “It will also give them the chance to socialize with a whole new region of color guard kids just like them.”
With all that is coming up this season for the World Guard, both in terms of competition and leisure, Annie Bitting, World Guard member and senior, said this trip will be bittersweet. She said it will be her last Regional with the World Guard.
“My favorite part is getting to perform in front of people and making a connection with people in the audience,” Bitting said. “I want to work hard to be sure I won’t have any regrets at the end of the season and I can end my senior year on a high note.”