Beautiful show


photo by Maggie Taylor

Halfway through their flag routine, freshman Giovanna Sciulli freezes on a specific count dictated by coordinator Haakon Bjørntvedt.

“I’m stupid excited.”

Almost a year after the winter guard last practiced together, winter guard coordinator Haakon Bjørntvedt sat on top of a 10-foot tall ladder, supervising the first full run-through of the season. 

Three weeks before their first competition on Feb. 13, the team put together their first run-through, of their show, Beautiful Soul. The music draws from Jesse McCartney’s “Beautiful Soul,” the backing track to two and a half minutes of dancing, rifle-tossing and flag routines. 

Last year’s multitude of experienced seniors had graduated. and some of the incoming freshmen had never participated in a guard program before, a challenge Bjorntvedt welcomed.

“I’m actually pretty shocked with how well they’re doing,” Bjørntvedt said. “I didn’t even know what to expect, but it’s honestly been a lot smoother than I thought it would be.”

Experienced members of the team felt just as good about this year’s team. Senior Kayden Howell had never seen freshmen quite like this season’s group.

“I feel like this group that we have right now is a lot more focused and in-tune with learning this stuff,” Howell said. “[The freshmen] can toss good tosses and they’re capable. All of these new kids are extraordinarily good.” 

Though new to the team, freshman Margaret Neely did not have trouble fitting into their routines.

“I find it really fun and therapeutic,” Neely said. ”There’s lots of adapting, and I’ve never been on a team before, but overall it’s pretty fun.”

The lack of a marching season after this year’s halftime show cancelation limited the exposure of new members, but it did not discourage the team’s optimism for their upcoming competition season.