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West Orange Winter Color Guard Wins Silver Medal

Team placed second among more than 40 color guards in world championship.

The 2014 West Orange High School Winter Guard (WOWG).
The 2014 West Orange High School Winter Guard (WOWG).

The West Orange High School Winter Color Guard traveled to Dayton, Ohio from April 1-5 to attend the Winter Guard International(WGI) World Championships. The West Orange Winter Guard competed in a tournament-style competition, participating in three rounds to advance to Finals. The West Orange Winter Guard placed 2nd out of over 40 colorguards in the WGI Scholastic Open Class, finishing with a score of 94.55.

The West Orange Winter Guard began their season in late November. At that time, members learn the basics of movement, influenced by ballet and modern dance. In addition to dancing, each colorguard member learns the techniques for spinning equipment, which includes flags, sabres, and wooden rifles.

The West Orange Winter Guard learned a specific choreographed 5-minute show combining dance movements and spinning of all three pieces of equipment. The 2014 production entitled "I Will Lay Down My Heart", includes choreography set to Mark Masri’s "I Can’t Make You Love Me", a remake of Bonnie Raitt’s 1991 original. All twenty-three members of the West Orange Winter Guard had individually choreographed roles in the show. Captains of the 2014 West Orange High School Winter Guard include Phelps Toussaint, Jasmeene Borgella, and Jessica Kaiser.

In January, the West Orange Winter Guard competed in the local colorguard circuit Mid-Atlantic Indoor Network (MAIN). Since then, the colorguard has traveled to nine shows within the tri-state area, usually competing once every weekend. The West Orange Winter Guard performs in two circuits during the season: MAIN and WGI. In these circuits, there are eight classes of competition. The color guard competed in the "Scholastic Open Class", which is an upper level class for accomplished high school sponsored teams. Due to the guard’s high level of performance last season, the team was promoted to Scholastic Open Class from the lower class, Scholastic A. Next year the Winter Guard will be promoted to the "Scholastic World Class" since the team was a medal contender.

The West Orange High School Winter Guard is currently in its eleventh season. The team has competed on the national WGI circuit for seven years. The West Orange Winter Guard has advanced to the Finals Round of competition five times in the seven years they have competed at the WGI World Championship.

The staff of the West Orange High School Winter Guard includes director PJ Tankard, show designer Louis Hellinger, and staff Jackie Milnes, Carol Martin, Denea Gresham, Jen Lube, and Erin McClure, advisor.

For more information please contact West Orange High School band director Erin

McClure at (973)669-5301 x 31549 or emcclure@woboe.org. For more on West Orange High School Co-curricular activities visit, http://www.woboe.org/wohs/GuidanceCurriculum/Pages/Curriculum.aspx

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