The Student News Site of Urbana High School

THE HAWKEYE

The Student News Site of Urbana High School

THE HAWKEYE

The Student News Site of Urbana High School

THE HAWKEYE

Title
View this profile on Instagram

UHS Hawkeye (@uhs_hawkeye) • Instagram photos and videos

SPORT SPOTLIGHT: The Artistry of Colorguard Takes Center Stage

Beaming with triumph, Zoe Radune, Katherine Fu, Uyen Bui, Saira Mahajan, Avery Chen, and Rebekah Zhu celebrate their victory at the 2023 MMBA State Championships.
Beaming with triumph, Zoe Radune, Katherine Fu, Uyen Bui, Saira Mahajan, Avery Chen, and Rebekah Zhu celebrate their victory at the 2023 MMBA State Championships.

With each carefully choreographed step and every graceful movement, colorguard transcends mere performance, weaving a tapestry of artistry and athleticism that captivates the bleachers of UHS.

According to a study done in 2023, the sport improves cardiovascular health, enhances coordination and balance, boosts teamwork and leadership skills, and helps improve self-esteem. 

Colorguard is more than just a mere sport, it is art brought to life. Colorguard is a mixed dynamic performance that combines elements of dance & choreography. During the outdoor season, it is performed alongside the band, while in the indoor season, it’s just them.

Performers use flags, rifles, sabers, and other props to visually interpret the music being played. Their routines tend to feature synchronized formations and vibrant costumes which add a visual element to each performance.

We interviewed a handful of the members from both the colorguard and the marching band and found out their thoughts and opinions on the art of colorguard. We asked them all a series of questions having to do with why they joined, their driven passion, memorable moments, opinions on colorguard, and here were there responses:

Saira Mahajan is a junior at UHS and a member of the indoor and outdoor colorguard seasons.

She joined colorguard because her friends joined and convinced her too.

Her passion for colorguard comes from “the want to get better.”

One memorable moment for Mahajan was when “[she] was able to perform and look/connect with the audience.”

Colorguard contributes to her mental health and personal growth by giving her something to “manage my time with,” as well as connecting her with endless amounts of people.

She would explain colorguard as “the visual ensemble for a marching band which consists of dance and spinning flags, sabres, as well as rifles.” 


Rebekah Zhu is a junior at UHS and a member of both the indoor and outdoor colorguard.

She pursued colorguard because she “saw some cool upperclassmen do it and [she] wanted to do it too, [she] had friends in it.”

The fact that she wants to get better drives her passion for colorguard.

A memorable moment Zhu reflects on is “Avery catching her quad behind her head at states.”

Colorguard helps with her mental health and personal growth because it is fun for her to spend time with her friends and she claims “it can help you get better at consistently hard on something.”

She explains colorguard as spinning flags and weapons and dancing “during marching band shows for a visual effect, we also have our own individual indoor season that’s purely colorguard.”


 

 

Avery Chen is a junior and a member of both the indoor and outdoor colorguard. She joined colorguard initially because of her friends’ involvement and a burgeoning curiosity about its essence.

Driven by the joy of skill acquisition, she continues to pursue colorguard.

Avery fondly recalls a vivid moment from her time at states, where she flawlessly executed a quad catch behind her head.

Reflecting on the sport’s impact on her mental well-being and personal development, she explained, “It’s a place to relax mentally and make you develop connections with people because you spend like 29 hours a week with them sometimes.”

If she had to describe colorguard to the average person, she would say, “you spin flags, ruffles, and sabres and it’s fun so you should join.”


Uyen Bui is a senior and a member of both the indoor and outdoor colorguard.
She joined color guard because her “friend asked me to try it. I’ve always wanted to do some kind of dance related and when I came to try it out, it was just so fun.”

Her passion is driven from the want to improve. “Every time I can’t get a toss or the choreography right, it motivates me to keep trying and come back. I hate failing and I hate being bad at something so when I struggle it makes me want to try harder.”

A memorable moment is when she heard the crowd roar for the first time as she tends to be more focused on the actual performance than the audience. “I remember one time we did a toss outdoors and it went really well and I actually heard the crowd cheering.”

Colorguard contributes to her mental health and personal growth as it has made her “more persistent.” 

She would explain colorguard as a “performance arts sport where you dance and use equipment to perform a show. Such equipment include a flag, a mock rifle, and a blunt saber. Typically the visuals of a marching band show during the fall, there is also an indoor season that is colorguard oriented known as ‘Winterguard.’”


Katherine Fu is a senior and a member of the outdoor colorguard season.

She pursued colorguard because “it seemed like an interesting activity,” as she did dance for a prior.

Her passion is driven from the fact that she likes performing in front of an audience and “learning different tricks on equipment.”

A memorable moment for Fu was the “2023 show ‘History has its Eye on You,’ where I caught my five on a saber for the first time in a show,” as it was a very rewarding experience.

Colorguard contributes to her mental health and personal growth because it “has made me persist on challenges even when I felt like giving up.” She has also made many friends from the sport. 

Fu would describe colorguard as the ‘non-instrument playing section of the marching band.’

“We dance, spin flags, rifles, and sabres instead. We play a huge part of the visual portion of the band. Also, there is a Winterguard, which is the indoor season consisting of just the guard.”


Neetya Patel is a junior and a member of both the indoor and outdoor colorguard.

She explains that her decision to try colorguard was influenced by her friends and fellow band members, wanting to explore something new.

As a newcomer, she finds her passion driven by the supportive community within colorguard, where mutual encouragement fosters personal growth.

Reflecting on her limited performance experiences, Neetya describes the satisfaction of showcasing collective effort and the excitement of witnessing diverse styles among other colorguard groups.

Despite colorguard’s demanding nature, she acknowledges its role in learning new skills, even as it requires significant time and commitment.

When asked to define colorguard for the uninitiated, Neetya simplifies it as a form of choreographed dancing with various equipment, aimed at enhancing visual effects in outdoor marching band and indoor colorguard shows through music.


    We also had the chance to interview a couple band kids on their thoughts, opinions, and feelings on colorguard:

 

Matthew Chung is a senior and a member of the marching band.

When asked about his thoughts on colorguard, Matthew shares, “I think colorguard is an overlooked aspect of marching band and people underestimate what it takes to do what they do.”

Reflecting on his potential involvement, he explains, “I have contemplated doing colorguard because it seems like a lot of fun and looks like a really great way to express yourself in a new art form alongside other people.”

 

 

 

 

 


Komal Gandhi is a junior and a member of the marching band.

When she was asked on her thoughts about colorguard she mentioned how she thinks “it’s cool and also pretty difficult.

She explains how she has “wanted to join colorguard,” but isn’t able to pencil it into her already busy schedule.

 

 

 

 


Gemma Gibney is a junior and a member of the marching band.

She believes colorguard is super fun and cool as “it takes a lot of work and looks really beautiful!”

She wished she could have joined guard as she did in her freshman year but due to being the only person in her section, she was unable too. “I am currently an indoor guard, and it’s a lot of fun! Tons of work though.”

 

 

 

 

 


Colorguard is a vital component of Urbana’s marching band program and arts program, as it adds a visual flair and creativity to our performances. Sadly, colorguard is a very overlooked aspect of the arts department as only 1.9% of schools in Maryland have it as an option. 

Colorguard continues to offer an inclusive environment where individuals can develop skills, build close friendships, and contribute to the overall success of the marching band. 

Kudos to the members for their dedication as it paid off. In the 2023 state championships, UHS’ colorguard won first place. That is a huge achievement and a huge step forward in the color guards future at UHS. 

Through dedication and practice, our UHS colorguard members not only showcase their talents but also embody the spirit of collaboration and dedication that defines Urbana’s unity. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Jaden Lu, Reporter
Reporter
Arya Mahajan, Reporter
Reporter

Comments (0)

All THE HAWKEYE Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *