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The Winter Guard and Winter Percussion seasons are in full swing as both LGHS ensembles tirelessly prepare for upcoming competitions. They performed for the first time on Jan. 20 at the Los Gatos Music Festival for an audience of LGHS and Fisher families.
On Jan. 21, LGHS Color Guard joined over 50 other teams in the California Color Guard Circuit’s (CCGC) Color Guard Evaluation Show, colloquially referred to as “evaluations” or “evals,” at James Logan High School. During evals, judges decide which bracket each team will compete in during the CCGC season, taking both team size and talent into consideration. This showcase is similar to other competitions, which makes it the perfect opportunity for newer members — and even new teams — to see what competitions will look like. However, most pieces are still unfinished; teams simply show what they have already choreographed and practiced.
Hayley Strahs, a freshman in LGHS Color Guard, enjoyed participating in local competitions and field shows during the fall semester. Now, she looks forward to winter shows. One of her favorite parts of the winter performance is the opening sequence, during which she has a solo. She was excited about the Jan. 21 show because it was her first winter show at Los Gatos High School. She stated, “I really like being in Winter Guard, and I can’t wait to see what the season will bring.”
LGHS Winter Percussion will have its first show on Feb. 4 at Enochs High School within the Central Valley Guard and Percussion Circuit. Until then, the ensemble will continue to rehearse. Sophomore Neil Khandelwal, who plays snare drum in the program, noted that the ensemble is focusing on overcoming mental blocks. He explained, “It’s really easy to get in your head while repeating a lot of the same stuff over and over again, trying to strive for perfection. You have to get out of that mindset by separating yourself from your mistakes, and not getting mad at yourself.”
Everett Wang, a sophomore who also plays the snare drum, explained that Winter Percussion shows “usually have a deeper meaning to them.” This year, the show focuses on self esteem and “looking at yourself in the mirror…[but] the meaning can ultimately be determined by the [people] in the audience.” Wang uses music as an outlet for creativity. He elaborated, “It’s an escape from school….I don’t necessarily have to stress about writing an essay.” He looks forward to “getting closer with other percussionists” and working with other talented musicians to bring the show together.