Now that the school year and indoor season are over, what’s next? If you’re a graduating senior, or it’s your age-out year, you may be thinking about the end of your guard career (or at least your time as a performer). If that’s what you want or need, great! But for those who aren’t ready to give it up, you can still keep guard as a part of your life.
For graduating high school seniors, look at independent winter guard units, drum corps, or college groups. World Class winter guards don’t have an age limit, so that option exists for seniors and “age-outs” alike. Check with your university and/or local marching circuit to find out more information about these programs.
There are also lesser-known options for performers to consider. For those looking for just a little bit of marching and being amidst a small instrumental section, a SoundSport ensemble may be a good fit. These groups generally compete locally and are low-cost. They may or may not include a color guard, so do your research about the groups in your area.
Never Age Out
Drum Corps Associates allows performers of varying ages to march and compete. If indoor guard is more your speed, check with your local circuit to see if they offer any all-age classes and what units perform in those classes. Such groups may be competitive or purely for exhibition.
Find the Right Fit
Regardless of what route you choose, do your research. You may already be aware that financial and time commitments vary from group to group; look at cultural differences between programs as well. Joining a group with a team culture that you aren’t compatible with can make for a difficult and unenjoyable season, so ask around and see if you think you might fit with a team before jumping in.
The color guard activity is so much more than flags in a gym or on a field, and it doesn’t have to stop just because you graduate or age out.