The George Rogers Clark High School varsity Winter Guard unit returned from Tennessee last weekend with a top award in hand.
The varsity guard traveled to Nashville Feb. 16 to compete in the Winter Guard International (WGI) competition. The competition included schools from nine different states. There were 26 guards competing in specific classes that were then divided into three groups in the preliminary round.
GRC was awarded first place in its round after their preliminary performance, which allowed the team to compete in the finals later that evening.
“After receiving notice that GRC¿won their round, I was extremely happy for the girls,” said GRC guard instructor Karen Wear. “Receiving first place in the round is a huge achievement! They finally got to see that hard work pay off with a number one next to their name.”
Wear is an instructor along with Erin Maley.
GRC was awarded the bronze medal after competing with 13 other guards in the finals. While this is only the second time the GRC Winter Guard has ever participated in a WGI event, this is the first time they have walked away with a trophy.
Wear has emphasized to the girls that scores, placements and trophies are not the most important thing, and that what matters most is how you feel about you performance walking off the floor.
“They not only felt fantastic about their performance, but they also brought home a well-deserved trophy, and that was just the icing on the cake,” Wear said. “As an instructor, there is no better feeling than watching your group perform at their highest level and then be rewarded for their efforts.”
Their performance, entitled “Just Let Go ...,” was about letting go of a painful past and looking ahead to new beginnings. Wear said that the show required the girls to pull from their personal experiences to engage themselves in the performance. The show demonstrated how difficult it is to “let go” of something, but it also illustrated how rewarding it is to do so.
GRC band instructor Chris Yoo also expressed his excitement for the guard’s award.
“We’re extremely proud of their accomplishments,” Yoo said. “The girls worked very hard. They had two great performances for the prelims and the finals, and the girls had a lot of fun. It was a great trip.”
Wear is looking forward in terms of where the guard will go.
“I am so thankful to have the opportunity to work with them,” she said, “And I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for us.”