Winter guard is winning the hearts of EMHS


Photo Provided

EMHS winter guard danced to the top.

Bridget Nye, Managing Editor

 Edmond Memorial High School (EMHS) has many talented artists and performers walking through its halls. From the show choir to the orchestra, there is an outlet for everyone to express their talent. One group that has had a successful season this year is the EMHS winter guard.

Guard is affiliated with the band program at Memorial. While in the fall the color guard works with the marching band, during the winter months the winter guard performs by themselves. They have a different show each year which includes flag, rifle, saber and dance, which allows the teams to explore what each member excels at and how to make the show the best it can be. By joining the program, junior varsity (JV) freshman Mali Ayers has had the opportunity to express her dance skills to the world.

“Being a featured soloist has been a great opportunity, and I’m so glad that I was able to experience this in my first season,” Ayers said. 

This year’s JV show is called “Golden Love,” and it is a cheerful performance about falling in love. 

“JV’s show, ‘Golden Love,’ is about how beautiful and bright new love can be. The mesmerizing effect of finding the person you’re supposed to be with can make everyday things feel beautiful,” JV Director Leya Mohammed said. 

Varsity is performing “We Can Change It All,” a more dramatic piece about war and generational trauma. 

“Varsity’s show ‘We Can Change It All’ is about how young adults are being seen as the generation that will actually create the change we need in the world,” Mohammed said. “These are the people that will stop the repetition of letting the issues of the world affect the next generation to come.”

With the two teams, the directors are able to coach each to be their best. The JV team has many new faces, so they have spent time perfecting their craft. The varsity members all have a season or two under their belt, therefore as a result, they are working to toss even higher than in the past seasons. 

“I believe that the guard is flourishing our skill set after a more difficult season than last year,” sophomore Varsity Captain Ella Granger said. 

Earlier this season, both teams competed at the Winter Guard International (WGI) invitational in Tulsa. This competition is at the regional level and includes teams from all over the country. Even with the added pressure, the dancers were not discouraged. Varsity placed 14th in the Scholastic A division, and JV scored 2nd in the Scholastic Regional competition. The JV members were especially proud of their accomplishment because it was the first time their team attended WGI. 

“The JV team has been really good this year. We have scored well so far, and we plan on keeping our scores and motivation high,” sophomore JV Captain Samantha Gillum said. 

When working with a team for months at a time, everyone involved becomes one big family. The time being spent together makes it easy to bond and create lifelong friendships with the fellow dancers. 

“My favorite part of this season has been gearing up for our performances and growing closer to everyone,” varsity freshman Maesyn Littlehead said. 

Performing in front of crowds of hundreds of people, taking home awards for their school and forming a strong friendship with other students is an experience like no other. Though this might not be for everyone, many come back year after year to be a part of the winter guard team. 

“I will definitely continue this program. I love it so much, and I’m so glad I am able to be a part of something important during my high school experience,” Ayers said. 

With the season coming to a close, many of the members were looking forward to the state contest. This contest was their last chance to prove to everyone that EMHS has earned their place in the winter guard world. With one last moment in the spotlight, these performers planed to achieve their desires for themselves and the program. 

“My goal for myself is to try my hardest, and my goal for the team is to have a fun finale for the season,” Littlehead said. 

On April 1, both groups competed at the Winter Guard and Percussion of Oklahoma State competition. JV placed 5th in Scholastic Regional A and varsity ended in 7th in the Scholastic A division. Everyone in the program has helped make their mark on the school.  With the year coming to an end, these students made sure to “change it all” and show their “golden love.”

Contact Bridget Nye at [email protected]