EDITOR’S NOTE: Several local Winter Guards are featured here and on A5. Northridge is absent since it has already been featured.
GOSHEN — Winter Guard is winding down at Goshen High School.
The Cadet group has completed its season’s performances. Junior varsity is preparing for finals and the varsity group is on their way to preliminary competition.
While each group performs different dances, different rifle, saber and flag skills to different music, there is one constant — the theme.
The contemporary Christian music used for each routine sets the stage for three uplifting messages, expressed through dance.
“Takesha Stoll, our winter guard director, chose the music to bring out a message,” said vice president of the Goshen Band Boosters and guard mom Dee Creviston. “A lot of what we are trying to say is to keep moving on, give it to God and stay positive.”
Creviston said many of the Elkhart County winter guards use Christian music as a backdrop.
“Once you get out of the county, you do hear a lot of secular and classical music,” Creviston said.
The GHS Varsity Winter Guard is practicing for preliminary competition at Decatur Central High School this weekend. If they qualify as top five in their group, they will head to state finals on March 23 at Center Grove High School in Indianapolis.
“Since they have been state finalists for the past five years, we are really hoping they will qualify this year as well,” Creviston said.
Around 45 Winter Guards will be competing in Class A preliminaries. The top 20 guards move on to state finals.
Typically, the varsity guard is made up of high school students. Through a skills test, the director places the girls in one of the three groups.
“This year we have two eighth-graders and one third-grader in our group of 12! She’s just adorable and has some incredible dancing skills,” said Creviston of the 9-year-old.
The varsity guard is performing to “Suitcases,” a contemporary Christian song by Dara Maclean.
“The main verse is, ‘You can’t run when you’re holding suitcases; It’s a new day, throw away your mistakes; open up your heart; lay down your guard, you don’t have to be afraid,’” Creviston said. “With the performance they are trying to say that you can’t go forward with a bunch of baggage — whether it’s stress or other issues. They weigh you down, like gravity. So give it to God and keep moving.”
For three weeks in a row, the varsity guard has placed in the top five during competitions and Creviston said the last performance received the highest score yet.
Eleven girls make up the GHS Junior Varsity Winter Guard, one of the smaller JV groups in recent years.
“These girls are typically made up of sixth through ninth-graders,” Creviston said. “They are really working on their spins and tosses and technical ballet skills.”
The group is performing to “Today” by Christian contemporary artist Kirk Franklin.
“The theme is that yesterday is over and today is a new day. God leads us through and we need to follow the positive side,” Creviston said.
In their division, the winter guards are awarded with a bronze, silver or gold medal.
“They’ve held silvers all season and have scored higher each week,” Creviston said. “They are doing fantastic.”
The guards’ last performance will be at Divisional Finals, March 16 at Center Grove High School.
With two performances under their belts, the beginning guard or Cadet group finished their season at the GHS Winter Guard Invitational in February.
“There are 30 girls in this guard. They are usually in grades three to six,” Creviston said. “These girls are learning the basics — how to spin a flag, how to dance. They did very well.”
Music by Christian artist Geoff Moore provided the backdrop for their performance of “Homerun.”