Winter Guard practicing for competition 2014.02.05

Winter GuardWhen the marching season concluded for the Morenci Area High School band, the senior color guard members were sorry to see it all end.

Then came winter guard.

The group's advisor, middle school teacher Christa Graham, told them there was a way to extend the fun. The activity known as winter guard involves flags and choreography, but it comes with two big differences: it takes place inside a gymnasium and instead of a band, the performance is accompanied by recorded music.

That sounded good to some of the color guard members so Mrs. Graham put the word out. With a combined group composed of students from grade six through 12, Morenci's winter guard was organized with 25 members.

Winter guard groups are common around the Grand Rapids area, Mrs. Graham said, but as far as she knows, Morenci's guard is the only one in Lenawee County.

An exhibition is planned at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the middle school gymnasium to give Morenci's members a chance to show what they're learning, but there's more than that for the audience. Representatives from winter guard groups from Eastern Michigan University and Siena Heights University will also perform to show what a collegiate group is capable of doing.

Morenci is scheduled to compete in two exhibition meets this winter and fund raisers are planned to help pay for uniforms and entry fees. The group's goal is to bring in $2,000. Donations can be sent to the school in care of Equilibrium Winter Guard.

When Mrs. Graham was a high school student, she served as captain of the Milan color guard for three years. She marched with the Eastern Michigan University band for one year and was the coordinator of Eastern's color guard the next year.

Morenci's fledgling group has completed several once-a-week practices, but the students have missed some valuable time due to weather cancelations.

"The snow days hurt us, but I have a lot of faith in the girls (and one boy)," Mrs. Graham said. They are very enthusiastic and I'm sure they will put on a good show."