Winter guard and winter percussion keep moving forward

The+varsity+winter+guard+performs+a+routine+using+sabres+as+equipment.

Leila Touati

The varsity winter guard performs a routine using sabres as equipment.

The Amador winter guard and winter percussion programs are staying strong (and safe) during the pandemic; they are continuing to move forward with practices and virtual competitions while maintaining a positive outlook. 

While every extracurricular activity at Amador was met with restrictions due to COVID-19, winter guard and winter percussion take these restrictions seriously and are determined to make this season a great one. 

“We have a couple of restrictions due to the current state of the pandemic. We’re only allowed to have 14 members together at once, and we all have to maintain distancing during our practices. We all have to be super careful when handling certain things like equipment— we are only allowed to touch our own things, and when we touch things like our huge tarped floor, we are required to sanitize our hands and put on gloves,” said one of the varsity captains for winterguard Claire Ma (‘21).

The sun hits down on a winter percussion practice while students practice intently. (Leila Touati)

Winter percussion has much shorter practices, and ensures to sanitize equipment and hands when sharing with other groups. These two programs set great examples for how to act accordingly when given clear instructions and restrictions.

“Before COVID, our practices were 3 hours long, 3 times a week. We had a lot of time to practice outside of rehearsals as we could easily come into the band room during lunch or after school and before rehearsals. Currently, we have a 1.5 hour practice 3 times a week. We all wear masks and have our instruments socially distanced. Since we share equipment between the Varsity and JV lines, we sanitize our equipment after our 1.5 hour practices,” said a section leader for winter percussion Bhavesh Ashok (‘21).

Restrictions and rules are set in place for a reason, and winter guard and winter percussion understand the gravity of how important it is to practice and hone their skills while also staying safe and healthy.

“We’ve never had to stop practices this season as all of our members understand the weight of their social responsibility to shelter in place and socially distance. Thankfully, we’ve had no cases of COVID or exposure to it among our members, so we hope that this continues to be the case as the season continues,” said Ashok.

The JV winter guard team stands in formation while practicing with their flags. (Leila Touati)

Both programs are moving forward with plans for competing and showing their skills at virtual competitions. Extracurricular activities competing this year use a camera to film and showcase their performance and send it to the organizers.

“Right now we’re doing a sort of virtual performance as opposed to traveling to our usual competition sites. Our goal is to record a performance (one take, no edits) the week before each show and send it in and compete that way,” said a captain for varsity winter guard Karen Eskarous (‘21).

By recording their performances, winter guard and winter percussion can fully compete in virtual competitions. This new option gives these performers something to look forward to during their season.

Winter percussion forms a semicircle while warming up on marimbas. (Leila Touati)

“The circuit we compete in, WGI Open Class (equivalent to Varsity), has organized a virtual competition bracket in which we have time to film our show as an ensemble in the gym and submit to be judged,” said Ashok.

Although extracurricular activities all look different this year, these programs are moving towards the future, no matter what it brings.

“We are all excited that guard and percussion get to have a competitive season, even if it looks a bit different. Our marching band didn’t get to do any competitions this year so we are ready to perform and compete,” said director of winter percussion and winter guard Jonathan Grantham.