It’s official: the Georgia State University Winter Guard puts on the best half-time show in the country. On April 14, they beat out 80 other teams to win the 37th annual Winter Guard International World Championships.
“It was surreal,” said Clarissa Wallen, a senior and member of the winter guard. “We worked hard all season to be our best. Never did we think we would win, but it is a great feeling, one we will never forget.”
Winter Guard is the official name for teams that perform their crowd-pleasing dance routines indoors – on a basketball court, say, instead of a football field. At Georgia State, they are an auxiliary unit of the marching band, and like the marching band have only been in existence for four years.
“It was a real Cinderella story, the three-year-old winter guard rehearsing for six months and rising from a number 11 ranking to the top,” said Andria Foerch, director of the marching band color guard and winter guard.
The Georgia State team honed their 2014 competition performance, “Before My Time,” for six months before beating powerhouses such as Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame for the Independent A Class World Championship.
Chester Phillips, director of athletic bands and associate director of bands, said, “We are all so proud of this accomplishment by our outstanding students and staff.”
Robert Ambrose, director of bands for the School of Music, put it more simply in a note he sent to the students in the winter guard: “Absolutely amazing! Bravissimo!”
As members of the marching band staff, Andria Foerch, Rick Subel and Danny Acevedo also helped prepare the guard for competition. For more information about the winter guard and other aspects of the Georgia State marching band, visit www.marchingband.gsu.edu.