Guards Merge to Become Zydeco Open

After a one-year hiatus in 2010, Zydeco Colorguard will return in 2011 with a new guard—Consortio Colorguard—folding into its organization, now know as “Zydeco Open.”

In its first year, Consortio took 4th place in the Independent A Class at the 2010 WGI World Championships. Zydeco had started as an A guard in 2007 and self-promoted to Open Class, winning the silver medal. The next year Zydeco moved up to World Class and took 7th place in 2008 and 2009.

“[The merger] seemed very natural because I knew the people and seen what they had done in one season,” says Byron Valentine, executive director of Zydeco. “It was like I was seeing what happened to Zydeco in 2007 happen to another organization.”

During the 2010 season, several Zydeco staff members and performers joined Consortio. “What’s great about Consortio and Zydeco and the two of them merging, we both have the same ideas about how this activity should be approached,” Valentine says. “We will always approach a season with the attitude that we want to be the best that we will possibly be that season, and whatever happens, happens.”

When the Cincinnati-based Consortio learned it would be moving up to Open Class for 2011, it approached Valentine about combining with the Dayton-based Zydeco. Valentine and Consortio director Patricia Simmons will both stay on staff.

For more information on the Zydeco Colorguard organization, its summer clinic series and auditions, visit the soon-to-be redone website at

About author

Elizabeth Geli

Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor of Halftime Magazine and a journalist/communications professional in Southern California. Her 11 years at the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band included time as a flute player, graduate teaching assistant, and student advocate. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism and master's degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.