WGI World Championships for the Winter Guard and Indoor Drumline

Tiffany Wu, Contributor

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Over the last week, the Bob Jones High School Winter Guard and Indoor Drumline traveled to Dayton, Ohio, to compete in the WGI World Championships. The Winter Guard competed on April 3, 2019, while the Indoor Drumline competed on April 9 and 10, 2019. The competition teams performed seamlessly against tons of other teams from around the country.

Senior Megan Sheehan is the movement captain and lead of the Winter Guard show, “The Red Shoes,” about a girl and her red pointe shoes. The dramatic show was inspired by ballet, and their routine was approximately four and a half minutes long. Megan mentioned, “at WGI World Championships, Winter Guard groups from around the world compete over the course of a few days. Bob Jones is in the Scholastic A class and we competed against around 160 groups. After the competition day, we got the opportunity to watch hundreds of other high school, college, and independent groups.”

This year is especially important for the Varsity Winter Guard team because, Megan included, “we are the first Winter Guard in Bob Jones history to compete in the world championships. We placed 82nd and scored the highest score we’ve ever scored.” This performance was their top scoring routine at 82.23 points, as they were able to increase their score almost three points more than the SCGC Championships just a few days before competing at WGI. She exclaimed, “it was a truly amazing experience! I loved spending time with my friends doing what we love to do.”

Additionally, the competition allowed the team to expand their experiences and compete with some of the best teams around the nation. Megan added, “seeing such amazing performances has really inspired me and made me appreciate Winter Guard so much more. There is a reason Winter Guard is called the ‘sport of the arts.’ It is a unique mix of creativity and mastery of skill that is really amazing. I am so proud of my team and so thankful that I got the opportunity to experience world championships with them.”

Another one of the fourteen Winter Guard members is junior Yunona Shkolnikov. She stated that the team was able to “beat two of our biggest competitors from the southeast” region, although they did not make it into the semi-finals, “but we’re here for the experience and to watch high class world guards.” Yunona additionally expressed, “I’ve always wanted to go to Dayton because the Indoor Drumline go every year and they share so many great memories from there, but now we finally got to go this year. I enjoyed watching the famous world guards in person.” The team’s hard work has definitely paid off as they made history for the Bob Jones Winter Guard while expanding their performance experiences.

While this year was the first year for the Winter Guard team to compete, it it certainly not the first time for the Indoor Drumline. Mr. Smart has led the Indoor Drumline team through competitions every year since 2015. He informed, “the drumline has been going to WGI World Championships since the mid 2000’s. This is the world championships for Indoor Drumline. There are over 150 percussion groups competing in different classes from around the world; this is the ultimate championships for them.”

Each year, the drumline performs a special routine that showcases their talent and skills. This year, Mr. Smart noted, “the drumline performed an original show called ‘The Art of Education’ featuring originally composed music. They have been working on the show since November.” Their hard work and dedication throughout the year always enhances the team’s skills as they bond and grow together as a team.

Mr. Smart additionally expressed, “I enjoy how each group is different. Every year brings a new group of kids with a new skill set and challenges. It makes it refreshing every year I do this activity.” He elaborates on the show this year, saying, “this year’s show has been very close to my heart as it explores the idea that the arts are important in the overall development of a school child. It is the arts that help enhance the other core classes. I think we would see great strides in creativity and ingenuity if public education as a whole would push the arts.” While many may only see band and drumline as electives, they can provide skills of teamwork, dedication, practice, and creativity that the regular classroom is not always able to provide.

At the competition, the Indoor Drumline finished in 16th place. They were only one spot away from making finals! Mr. Smart noted that the competition was “extremely close,” and regardless, “the group had a great run.”

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