Irvington Color Guard Makes An Outstanding Return


Varsity color guard performs at the Central California Band Review. (Photo credit: IHS Vikings Music Boosters)

Irvington’s color guard finished its season on November 20, wrapping up months of rehearsals and conditioning. Guard performed exceptionally well at Lincoln, where they were awarded first place and took home sweepstakes alongside band. They also received two sweepstakes at the Central California Band Review (CCBR). The season concluded on a successful note, with Varsity guard taking home first-place division awards at all four of the band reviews they attended and winning sweepstakes at the Foothill review. 

Although they were victorious, color guard found it somewhat difficult to return to the flow of a regular year. 

“It was a bit difficult because many of the current sophomores weren’t given the best training from digital learning last year,” stated guard co-captain Lauren Osaki (12). “We had to commit more hours than normal to catching people up skill-wise.” There were no band reviews last year as a result of distance learning, so guard had to readjust to performing in competitions as well. 

There also was no coach guiding the process, which deviated from the norm of previous years. The co-captains led rehearsals five days a week from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., with Varsity rehearsing Monday and Wednesday, Junior Varsity and recreational guard rehearsing Tuesday and Thursday, and all guards rehearsing on Friday. During practices, groups worked on cleaning up choreography, foundational techniques such as spins and tosses, and dance. Apart from rehearsals, guard also spent two weeks at band camp before the semester began, where they conditioned, instructed newer members, and began teaching routines.

“Most of our practices were student-run. That means the other leaders and I would have to take care of things that the coach usually did, such as choreographing,” said Osaki. The absence of a more experienced coach meant that the captains had to evaluate how best to instruct three different levels of guard—recreational, Junior Varsity, and Varsity—while closing a significant learning gap from the past year. 

However, this contributed to guard’s cohesive, supportive structure, especially due to their collaboration in navigating such uncharted waters. Guard developed into a closely-knit group over the year, ensuring progress through the season. 

Blowing expectations out of the water and re-establishing themselves as solid competition once again, Irvington’s return to an in-person season proves that the old rallying cry still rings true — color guard goes hard. 

Find a season recap for marching band here: