Arts & Entertainment

New Jersey Students Wow at West Orange High School Color Guard Competition

Credits: David Adelsohn
Credits: David Adelsohn
Credits: David Adelsohn
Credits: David Adelsohn

Editor's Note: Story was updated with list of winners on Feb. 3 at 6:07 p.m.

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Thirty-one teams competed in the 2015 West Orange High School’s (WOHS) tenth annual Color Guard Show on Saturday, which featured exhibition performances from the West Orange Junior Guard, World Guard, and Percussion Ensemble.

Well over a thousand parents, classmates, and family members packed the WOHS Tarnoff Gymnasium to watch schools from all over New Jersey perform for their townships. WOHS played host and provided snacks and drinks for all in attendance.

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The competition lasted throughout the day with a two-hour intermission for people to stretch their legs, eat, and socialize.  Before and after these breaks guests watched dozens of performances, in which school teams performed sophisticated and creative dance pieces featuring flags, imitation rifles and fancy costumes.

The school teams that competed were: Keith Valley MS, Henry Snyder Winter Guard, Pegasus Too, Pequannock HS, Morristown HS Revolution, Wayne Valley Winter Guard, Mahwah HS Thunder Guard, South Plainfield HS, Manalapan HS, Wayne Hills Millennia Winter Guard, True Colors Independent, Bayonne HS Color Guard, North Plainfield HS, Monroe HS, Sacred Heart, AMP, Emanon A, Arlington HS, Ridgewood HS, Matawan HS – Enimga, Minesola High School, West Milford HS “Highlanders”, Bridgewater Raritan HS, Hillsborough “A” Indoor Guard, South Brunswick Visual Ensemble, Somerville HS Open and  Emamon World.

Creative juices flowed throughout the day with every performance differentiating greatly from the other including Morristown Colorguard’s “Bedtime” performance, in which the team danced in a child’s room setting featuring pillows and a bed; South Plainfield High’s “The Carnival,” which featured circus-style make up and lavish, bizarre costume design; Wayne Hills Millennia Winter Guard’s toy-themed performance, aptly titled “Toy Box Surprise;” and Bayonne High School’s haunting, spider-web themed performance called “Fatal Attraction.”

The West Orange host guards and ensemble put on exhibitions of their own at the end of each half for the crowd. In their first ever performance, the WOHS Junior Varsity “A” Guard performed “The Rose” to the song “Some Say Love,” by Bette Midler, while sporting rose-colored costumes and flags. The JV team is made up of eight grade and high school students.

The WOHS World Guard closed the show out by performing “Find Your Voice” to the song “Read All About It” by Emeli Sande wearing beige and brown attire.  The World team is made of high school students who have previous guard experience. 

In what was considered to be a season opener for the Mid-Atlantic Indoor Network circuit, WOHS band director Erin Lagatic said there was the “excitement and energy of the color guard competition season in the air.”  

“As a hometown team, it is great to always be the season opener,” she said. “Everyone is always excited for West Orange to kick off the start of the competitive season.”

The Word Guard, who won the silver medal at the WGI World Championships, and the junior guard had the support of the school according to Lagatic.

She said, “We have colorguard directors who are the teaching staff, band directors who are the support staff, plus the Music Boosters and the high school administration,” she said. “The staff is highly committed to seeing the kids succeed over the long season.” 

Lagatic also said that they are invested in the team’s success for “the long run, not just this season but as a bigger picture over many years.”

In addition, Lagatic highlighted the importance of activities like the color guard play in the development of the students. 

“There is so much to be learned from a team activity such as this, and the kids develop much more than just a passion for performance,” she said.


Class Middle School

  • 1st place with a score of 56.4 - Keith Valley Middle School

Class Independent Novice

  • 1st place w/ a score of 57.3 - Pegasus Too
  • 2nd place w/ a score of 47.0 - Henry Snyder

Class Scholastic Novice

  • 1st place w/ a score of 76.0 - Pequannock HS
  • 2nd place w/ a score of 73.4 - Manalapan HS
  • 3rd place w/ a score of 70.1 - Wayne Valley HS
  • 4th place w/ a score of 69.5 - Wayne Hills HS
  • 5th place w/ a score of 53.1 - Mahwah HS
  • 6th place w/ a score of 53.0 - Morristown HS
  • 7th place w/ a score of 46.4 - South Plainfield HS

Class Independent Regional A

  • 1st place w/ a score of 48.79 - True Colors Independengt

Class Scholastic Regional A

  • 1st place w/ a score of 62.65 - Monroe Twp HS
  • 2nd place - 57.32 - North Plainfield HS
  • 3rd place - 51.26 - Bayonne HS

Class Independent A

  • 1st place - 65.69 ?- Emanon A
  • 2nd place - 63.82 - AMP
  • 3rd  place - 60.38 - Sacred Heart University

Class Scholastic A

  • 1st place - 64.32 - Bridgewater Raritan HS
  • 2nd place - 63.75 - Arlington HS
  • 3rd place - 61.10 - Hillsborough HS
  • 4th place - 60.78 - West Milford HS
  • 5th place - 54.58 - Matawan Enigma
  • 6th place - 53.13 - Mineola HS
  • 7th place - 49.13 - Ridgewood HS

Class Scholastic Open

  • 1st place - 68.3 - Somerville HS
  • 2nd place - 65.5 - South Brunswick Visual Ensemble

Class Independent World

  • 1st place - 70.3 - Emanon World

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