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Winter Guard and Drumline Win Local Competitions

California High School teams take first place, will compete in championships.

The winter guard and drumline teams at placed first this month in competitions at Antioch, Livermore, and Foothill High Schools.

They are competing in a championship competition at Stockton on today.

Drumline consists of the percussion sections of the marching band and performs a music piece in the morning competition.

Winter guard, a team dance that maneuvers flags, sabres, and rifles to choreography, performs their routine in the afternoon competition.

"These wins are a major accomplishment," said parent Jamie Gunning. "They're already doing well fresh out of the gate."

This is the first season for winter guard at Cal High since 2009. The program has been on hiatus due to a lack of members and instructors. 

"We've gone from not even having a winter guard to having a season that greatly exceeded our expectations," says Cal High junior and winter guard captain Laura Nichols.

Similarly, drumline dissolved two years ago for not having enough members, says Cal High senior Katie Miesel. Nevertheless, this year and last drumline has gone undefeated, much in part due to student initiative and leadership.

According to instructor Dave Nichols, the drumline team meets once per week and depends heavily on members having discipline and efficiency to practice on their own time.

"It was really hard to judge expectations at first since we had so many first-timers," he said. "We're very happy with our results."

The teams also attract students from every background and every high school clique, says Cal High freshman Erika Gunning. Students get the opportunity to form friendships with people they wouldn't otherwise talk to. 

The championship competition will be held on March 31 at the Lincoln High Winter Guard and Percussion Show. Drumline will compete against 20 other schools and guard will compete against 14 other schools.

"Sometimes the sheer number of teams scares our students, but I try to tell them it's not about anyone else. It's about bringing their own 'A' game," says parent Kathi Nichols.

After the season ends, recruiting sessions will be hosted at San Ramon middle schools in hopes of preventing hiatuses in the future.

"We're always open to getting new members to join this great experience," says Laura Nichols. 

Jamie Gunning April 01, 2012 at 10:07 PM
The winterguard & drumline both won their division in the CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!
Kathryn Nichols April 01, 2012 at 10:53 PM
All of this was only able to happen because the incredible support of California High School Band Director Kent Johnson!

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