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COLOR GUARD FAQS
COLOR GUARD PROGRAM
Color Guard is a performance based, graded course that functions as an integral part of the Marching Band elective. It provides an important visual element for Marching Band and is open to male and female students from 9th to 12th grade. Movement and intermediate dance fundamentals, using flags, rifles, and sabres as props, are the core of the curriculum. Students are required to commit to a schedule of rehearsal sessions and performances outside of the school day. 9th graders receive Fine Arts credit and 10th- 12th can choose either Fine Arts or PE credits.
WHEN IS THE ‘SEASON’?
Color Guard begins with a free, seven-day Marching Band Summer Camp (held at MVHS sometime during the last two weeks of summer break). Although the camp is not mandatory it is highly encouraged. Students will learn basic techniques and master their skills to go on to perform starting fall semester. Fall semester Marching Band counts as an elective towards Fine Arts credit for 9th grade and PE or Fine Arts credit for 10th to 12th grade. The season lasts from August until mid-November. Just like any elective students may drop the course within the deadline at the start of the school year. After the deadline the course becomes part of the student’s transcript.
IS HIGH SCHOOL COLOR GUARD DIFFICULT?
Just like anything worth your time, being in the MVHS Color Guard takes effort. However, we have a spot for ALL students, regardless of their dance experience. Our biggest wish is for all students to achieve consistently and enjoy the learning process. Every aspect of our program is designed to foster and encourage musical and personal maturity.
CAN I PLAY OTHER SPORTS AND/OR PARTICIPATE IN OTHER EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES?
YES! In fact, most of our students are involved in sports or other co-curricular activities. We encourage you to participate in a variety of co-curricular activities. No matter what activities you pursue, just keep an accurate schedule to iron out any conflicts that may arise. With a little give and take, most things work out just fine. Additionally, any college or university in the country will attest to the fact that the busiest students are the most successful students. Structure and discipline work!
DOES COLOR GUARD TAKE UP ALL MY TIME?
No! This is perhaps the greatest misconception to incoming students and parents. Color Guard is a commitment, just like anything worthwhile, but does not prevent you from participating in other MVHS classes, activities, and co-curriculars.
DOES COLOR GUARD LOOK GOOD ON COLLEGE APPLICATIONS?
ABSOLUTELY! In fact, most college admissions departments seek out Marching Band students, as they recognize all that is involved in our discipline. Our graduates are attending some of the top universities and colleges in the country. Most of our students stand out when compared to non-music students, and every year we have graduates earning scholarships based on their Marching Band participation and academic merit.
DOES THE COLOR GUARD PROGRAM TRAVEL?
Yes! In the Fall, the Color Guard travels with the Marching Band to various shows and competitions. At least four Saturday trips occur in the fall season.
WHAT IS THE TYPICAL COMMITMENT OUTSIDE OF THE SCHOOL DAY?
During the fall Marching Band season (August to mid- November), we have most of our rehearsals outside of the regular school day. These events are built into the curriculum and are mandatory, similar to any other class.
Kicking off the season is Marching Band Camp which is a free, 7 day camp open to all students interested in Marching Band and Color Guard. It is held sometime during the last two weeks of summer break prior to the first week of school. During band camp, we try to learn a large portion of the competitive show. We work hard during this time, and have as much fun as we dare! It is also a great social time for the band and students make many friends across every grade. Although Marching Band Camp is not mandatory, it is highly encouraged as a lot of progress takes place before the start of school.
Following Band Camp, a typical weekly rehearsal schedule during the fall semester would consist of:
Mondays: 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Wednesdays: 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Thursdays: 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
September – two All-Day Saturday Practices
October – two All-Day Saturday Practices
In addition to competing at four all-day Saturday competitions during October and November Color Guard will also perform at half-time for Monte Vista’s Friday night home football games.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO TAKE COLOR GUARD WITH BAND/ORCHESTRA/CHOIR/OTHER ELECTIVES?
Yes! We have many students who play an instrument or sing in choir, but want to earn their PE credit or additional Fine Arts through performance in Color Guard.
WHAT ABOUT TESTS AND HOMEWORK?
Performance! Practice! Color Guard is a group performance class. Performance situations can’t be recreated around each individual student. These growth experiences occur infrequently and are very important to the development of the student. Since we depend on each other so much, it is a great loss to miss anyone, and therefore all practices and performances are required. The contribution of each student is critical and irreplaceable. You will receive a performance schedule in advance. If changes occur in the schedule, you will be notified immediately.
DO I HAVE TO TAKE PRIVATE LESSONS?
Some of our Color Guard students take dance lessons privately, but this is not a requirement of the course. Each year, new students with no prior dance or movement experience join the Color Guard program. With the instruction of our staff and the help of student leaders, you will learn everything you need to know about Color Guard.
DOES THE SCHOOL PROVIDE EQUIPMENT, UNIFORMS?
Yes. Everything, including uniforms and equipment, is provided for the students.
WHAT ARE WAYS PARENTS CAN GET INVOLVED WITH COLOR GUARD?
The most important thing parents can do to fully support students is providing the ingredients for success in all academic endeavors. In Color Guard, some of these are: dance lessons, praise and encouragement, and most importantly, attend all events and performances. The Guard program relies heavily on parent volunteers for many things. Becoming a member of the Keynoters music boosters and volunteering when available is greatly appreciated. Guard students are a fun and inspirational group of young people and fun to be around. Our volunteer parents have a wonderful time volunteering with our students, and often times become great friends!
ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?
If you have any other questions about Color Guard, please email the Color Guard Room Parent: