WEST ORANGE, NJ -  On Monday, March 3, Winter Guard International (WGI) announced that The West Orange High School Winter Color Guard was ranked No. 2 in the nation in the Scholastic Open Class.  They will now travel to Dayton, Ohio the first week of April to participate in the World Championships.

"The kids are beyond excited," said Director Erin McClure.  "It is such great news!"

The WOHS Winter Color Guard is second only to South Brunswick High School, whose ranking is 85.90.  West Orange's second place ranking is 85.80. Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is third with a 85.30 ranking. 31 Winter Color Guards participate in the Scholastic Open Class.

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On March 1, the West Orange Winter Guard traveled to South Brunswick to compete in the WGI Eastern Regional.  Over 50 Winter Guards from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Canada competed in double rounds of Preliminary and Finals Competions. West Orange competed in a group of five teams from the Scholastic Open category and took third in the Preliminary round with a score of 79.3 and second in the Final round with a score of 81.3, performing, "I Will Lay Down My Heart."

In addition to McClure, the Winter Guard staff is comprised of PJ Tankard, Louis Hellinger, Jackie Milnes, Denea Gresham, and Carol Martin.  Under the guidance of the Winter Guard staff, the West Orange High School Winter Guard has continued to develop and is now considered highly ranked competitors in North America.

If you are able to make a donation to help offset the cost of the Winter Guard's trip to Dayton, please contact Erin McClure at emcclure@woboe.org or make checks payable to West Orange High School and mailed to West Orange High School, Winter Color Guard Team, 51 Conforti Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052, Attention: Erin McClure, Director. The Color Guard is grateful for the ongoing support of the West Orange Community.

For more information on WGI, go to: http://www.wgi.org/events/class-ranking-reports.php.

For more information on the West Orange Winter Color Guard, go to: http://www.wohsmusic.org/#.