Arts & Entertainment

West Orange Winter Color Guard Takes Gold Medal at Main Championships

The 2015 West Orange High School World Winter Guard (WOWG): Top row of students left to right: Jessica Kaiser, Connie Reznik, Vanessa Oyeneye, Jeanne Machado, Victoria Oyeneye, Widmaier Francillon; 2nd row from top: left to right: Anastasia Meccia, Angelina Jones, Chelsea Morales, Fayola Abdon, Laurie Delinois, Brunie Pierre; 3rd row: left to right: Brianna Todman, Samphena Weah, Catherine Salas, Angela Zeoli; Bottom row: left to right: Anika St.Felix, Angelica Pozzoli, Vanessa Dessources, Niara Boykin. Credits: Zachary Palomba-Frechette, Erin Lagatic
The West Orange Winter Guard celebrates after the WGI World Class Finals Credits: Zachary Palomba-Frechette, Erin Lagatic
The West Orange Winter Guard performs in the WGI World Championships. Credits: Zachary Palomba-Frechette, Erin Lagatic
The 2015 West Orange HS A Guard: Top row of students left to right: Madeline Machado, Aysar Abdelgelil, Samantha Hess, Emily Lux, Sarah Salazar; 2nd row from top: left to right: Shalom Dike, Rhode Jeanniton, Tiffany Habersham, Joanna Maignan, Ruthanne Ward; 3rd row: left to right: Eliana Murphy-Braunstein, Alynna Sanchez, Siddhi Modi, Victoria Chavez, Riddhi Modi; Bottom row: left to right: Isabella Ompok, Julia Santos, Alexandra Ompok. Not pictured: Chloe Basile, Jalynn McPleasant. Credits: Zachary Palomba-Frechette, Erin Lagatic
The West Orange Winter Guard lines up prior to the Finals performance. Credits: Zachary Palomba-Frechette, Erin Lagatic
All the competing color guards are on the floor for the awards ceremony. Credits: Zachary Palomba-Frechette, Erin Lagatic

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The West Orange High School Winter Color Guard took the gold medal with a score of 91.4 in the Scholastic World Class on April 25, during the competition that was held at South Brunswick High School. Captains of the 2015 West Orange High School Winter Guard include Jessica Kaiser, Angelica Pozzoli, Anika St. Felix, and Brianna Todman.

In addition, the WOHS Winter Guard placed 12th out of 23 color guards in the WGI Scholastic World Class, finishing with a score of 83.15, at the Winter Guard International (WGI) World Championships, which were held in Dayton, Ohio from April 14-19. Over 180 Scholastic color guards competed at the WGI World Championship in 3 classes: Scholastic World, Scholastic Open, and Scholastic A Class. The West Orange Winter Guard competed in a tournament-style competition, participating in three rounds to advance to Finals prior to coming in 12th.

"We are very proud of the accomplishments of the West Orange World Guard," said Louis Hellinger, show designer for West Orange High School Color Guards. "Finishing 12th place at Winter Guard International World Championships is a great honor and reward for their hard work and dedication to this program."  

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The West Orange World Guard performed a choreographed five-minute production, which combined dance movements and spinning of flags and other equipment. The 2015 production entitled, “Finding Your Voice” included choreography set to Emeli Sande’s, “Read All About It.”.All twenty members of the West Orange World Guard had individually choreographed roles in the show.

The Junior Varsity Winter Guard, or the “A Guard,” also competed on Saturday at South Brunswick High School in the Mid-Atlantic Indoor Network Championships and took 8th place, with a score of 79.48 in the Scholastic Regional A Class.

The West Orange A Guard learned a choreographed show combining dance, flag, and rifle spinning. The 2015 production entitled, “The Rose” included choreography set to Bette Midler’s song, “The Rose.” The twenty-member team is primarily made of students in eighth grade and high school students that are new to the activity.

The West Orange Winter Guards began their season in late November where members started by learning the basics of movement, influenced by ballet and modern dance. In addition to dancing, each color guard member learned the techniques for spinning equipment, which includes flags, sabres, and wooden rifles.

In January, the West Orange Winter Guards began competing in the local color guard circuit Mid-Atlantic Indoor Network (MAIN). Since then, the color guards have traveled to shows within the tri-state area, competing a few times a month.

The West Orange World Guard performs in two circuits during the season: MAIN and WGI. In these circuits, there are eight classes of competition. The World Guard competed in the “Scholastic World Class,” which is the highest level class for accomplished high school sponsored teams.

The A Guard competed in the “Scholastic Regional A Class,” which is the third tier class for accomplished high school sponsored teams. 

The West Orange High School Winter Guard program is currently in its 12th season. The team has competed in the international color guard (WGI) circuit for eight years. The West Orange Winter Guard has advanced to the Final Round of competition six times in the eight years they have competed at the WGI World Championship.

The staff of the West Orange High School Winter Guard includes director PJ Tankard, show designer Louis Hellinger, and staff Jackie Milnes, Carol Martin, Julie McCullough, Jackie Echevarria, and Erin Lagatic, advisor.

To visit the West Orange Music Boosters, click HERE. Follow the WOHS Bands and Color guard on Twitter here @WOHSBands.

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