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Get group-by-group updates from the 2019 WGI Guard Mid-East and West Power Regional finals on Sunday, Mar. 24.
Good morning, campers! Marcus J. Hopkins back at the helm, this weekend, bringing you live coverage of both the Mid-East and West WGI Guard Power Regional Finals competitions.
We are lucky enough to have regional that are far enough spaced apart that I am able to cover a lot of fantastic colorguard from both coasts...well...land-locked inland areas.
Below, you will find a list of the guards that I will be covering throughout the day, beginning at 8:30 AM ET.
Mid-East Power Regional Finals:
Railmen Winter Guard - "Sailing"
I really enjoy this floor.
Very nice, rifle soloist.
The writing, so far, is incredibly responsive to the music. The rifle line are really handing their work naturally and well.
VERY nice ensemble flag toss, Railmen!
Sabre tosses on top of barrels into a trust fall? Better you guys, than me.
Purdue University Winter Guard - "Up, Up, and Away"
This show uses one of my favorite songs (as a Cadet, and as a musician) - Ron Nelson's "Rocky Point Holiday."
Very nice add-on feature, sabres.
Vast improvement from February, Purdue. You guys have come a very long way.
That was a really nice ensemble flag feature at the end during "Scarlet O'Hara."
SSJC - South Short Jr. Cadets - "Into the Light"
DANG, these kids can spin. Explosive, right out of the gate.
Wow. Nice triple-turn-around under that rifle seven.
A little trouble with flag sails in the closing flag feature, but I have to say - SSJC has come a VERY long way since the last time I saw them (several years ago).
I've generally thought of the group, in the past, as one that was always far more regimented in their design and display - more the like colorguard the way I learned it, back in the 80s - but THIS show was a really fantastic surprise, for me, to see how much the group has moved forward into modern design and movement. I'm SUPER impressed.
Onyx - "Malagueña"
I see they've added mirrors to the bottoms of these piano benches.
Flags did a really fantastic job of keeping up and in time with that accelerando.
I have to say, I really enjoy these sculptures the guard has made out of the piano benches.
Very strong performance, Onyx.
Fairfield HS - "This War of Ours"
I'm trying to figure out what the image is, on their floor. Is it...corn?
I really love these uniforms. Not enough people use dark oranges, these days.
That was a very satisfying ensemble flag moment.
Lincoln-Way Community HS - "Little Girl Blue"
That was a very nice opening segment, all the way through the movement of the raindrops.
That was a very well-written flag phrase. Very responsive to both the music and the lyrics.
This show, in general, is really satisfying to watch - it's melodically written, the construction leaves time for the audience and performers to breathe after phrases, and there's a great use of breath. Nicely done!
Ada HS - "The Pale, Blue Dot"
Very nice lift.
That was very cool - flags just tossed a parallel toss, caught the silk, and jumped over the pole before stopping the momentum.
This was a really moving program, and that's coming from someone who's generally unmoved by shows that have moral lessons in them. This was done very well.
Westerville North HS - "In Mourning"
VERY nice, sabre soloist!
There are a LOT of great things happening on this floor, today. The use of chiffon flags added a nice touch.
I really enjoy this cover of Roxette's "It Must Have Been Love."
Excellent closing flag statement.
Personal Anecdote: As I'm Live Blogging this show, I am currently being cuddled/smothered by no fewer than FOUR felines - Euryale, Erdrick, Baumren, and Squeaker. That's right...I'm one of THOSE cat hoarders.
Rockford HS - "When One Door Opens..."
VERY nice control during the group back walkover. That was very nicely executed.
This guard has excellent control and strength with their equipment. The slow up-and-over in the flag line was great.
On video, this yellow flag is getting lost on the pale yellow floor. In person, it's probably much easier to see.
That was a fun show to watch. Lots of excellent training and technique with both movement and equipment.
Goshen HS - "What Would Grandma Say?"
These weapons aren't playing around, today. They've got hands for days.
That moment with the rainbow flags was really nicely done.
Nice turn under that toss, ensemble flags.
Lafayette HS - "The Bird Woman"
Excellent opening movement book.
I can't really see the weapons against the white part of the floor, but this flag line is kickin' it, today!
These flags are gorgeous, and they're spun with such excellent precision.
Very nicely done, Lafayette!
Lockport Township HS - "Falling"
Great image on the floor, Lockport.
Apparently, Maya Angelou is this year's poet that everyone decided to use. I think there was a secret meeting. :-)
Very nice common rotation, flag line. I've always loved shaded chiffon flags.
Awesome execution on the flag exchange, and also on the rifle toss while standing on the ladders.
These kids are fantastically trained on equipment. Very nice technique and consistency from person to person,
Kiski Area HS - "One Voice"
I'm really digging this a capella track.
This guard is really coming out strong, today. Flags, in particular, are really on top of their game, this morning.
Excellent layering in this ensemble flag statement.
Zionsville Community HS - "Fly Me to the Moon"
Very nice toss, sabre soloist!
The sabre lineis having a great run, this morning.
Excellent exchange, rifles.
MAN, this ensemble flag statement is really good, today.
Mason HS - "Rituals"
Interesting use of the Eye of Re - the female counterpart to the Egyptian sun god, Ra.
There's a neat optical illusion that's created when you release equipment and kneel underneath - it makes the equipment look like it's been thrown higher than it actually has. It makes a six look like an eight, in terms of the height it achieves above the performers' heads.
Interesting layering within this ensemble flag section.
Centerville HS - "Oh, My NOLA"
I really love this floor. The mint and lavender floor is really pleasant.
This opening flag statement has really grown and improved since we saw it in February. Great work, guys!
Lots of great things happening, especially when the clarinet comes in, here. The flag add-on works very well.
LaPorte HS - "The Seagull"
I really love LaPorte's color palette, here.
The sabre writing in that opening monologue section is incredibly responsive to the words, which I really appreciate.
The layering in this ensemble flag statement is gloriously lush.
The seagull wings are new, since February. I like the new ending.
Naperville Central HS - "The Empty Chair"
This spoken word beginning is new, since February. I like it. It provides context for those unfamiliar with "The Missing Man" ceremonial table for POW/MIA soldiers.
Very nice release, flags.
Nicely done on that entrance, rifles.
Marian Catholic HS - "The Picture of Dorian Gray"
The rotating picture is a nice touch.
I really like the new flags, in the beginning.
This movement section in the middle of the show is a great moment.
Yeah - these news flags that look like running paint are really cool.
That's a FANTASTIC new ending, Marian.
Milford HS (Ohio) - "Fallen"
This opening movement segment with the death shrouds is really nicely executed.
I've mentioned this, before, but whatever this new flag fabric is that everyone's using, I really love the visual effects it creates when the flags spin. Visually, the transparency of the material really cool, and it also creates the illusion of "extra" drag on the silks as they cut through the air. it allows you to see every ripple of the silk as the air flows along either side of it.
Just a super powerful ending flag feature.
Ben Davis HS - "War of Words"
This is one of my favorite musical tracks of the 2019 season.
I really love this opening movement book.
Ben Davis' color palette throughout this show is wonderful.
So rarely has a show about the Dada movement enthralled me this much.
For those unfamiliar, the vocal track is from Hugo Ball's 1916 written piece, "Dada Manifesto," which you can find, here: https://www.wired.com/beyond-the-beyond/2016/07/hugo-balls-dada-manifesto-july-2016/
Fishers HS - "A Self-Evident Truth"
I love this version of the 1968 song, "Abraham, Martin, and John," by Dick Holler, written in response to the assassinations of four political heroes - Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy.
Fishers is having one HECK of a run, this morning. Every section is just working out perfectly.
West Power Regional Finals:
Eastlake HS - "FLY"
I watched this show, last night, for the first time. I really love the uniform and floor designs.
That was a really well-executed flag statement, Eastlake.
South San Francisco HS - "A Beautiful Lining"
This is a really nice show. The flag writing is smart - flowing and right in the sweet spot for the performers' abilities.
Very nicely executed ensemble flag moment with smart layering and excellent body under the equipment work.
Lemoore HS - "Somebody to Love"
I love this cover of Queen's "Somebody to Love,"and Lemoore is doing great things with it.
VERY nice weapon tosses, Lemoore, on "Can anybody find me..."
I love that closing flag statement.
Golden Valley HS - "Fix You"
This is an excellent movement statement, Golden Valley.
Nice ensemble rifle feature, guys, with an excellent ensemble catch at port.
That was a great ensemble flag feature to the end, there. Very nicely done.
El Camino Real Charter HS - "Last Dance"
I really love this floor. I have a thing for nice hardwood flooring.
Great pique turns, up front.
Crowd-pleasing reveal of the purple dresses.
I won't lie - This track, alone, sells me on this show.
Silver lamé flags are back, with a vengeance, my friends.
West Ranch HS - "Rainbow Connection"
Very nice, flag soloist.
There's some excellently written sabre work in this show. Very well performed, as well.
Excellent dress reveal.
That was a great piece of flag writing.
Rincon-University HS - "It Takes a Lot to Know to Be to Love"
Excellent opening movement book.
Nice job, rifles. You've got some very cool work.
This is a really dangerous flag to spin in close quarters, in terms of design. The slightest timing issue is SUPER visible.
Hart HS - "Nude: A Descending Staircase"
MAN, this opening movement good is nice.
These kids are doing some excellently written equipment/body work. Hart HS is one to watch, this year.
One of the nicest moments in this show is when the guard runs in perfectly dressed lines in counter motion to create visual effects. It doesn't have to be super complex to be super effective.
That ending flag feature is just a dream to watch.
Damonte Ranch HS - "Promise"
These kids move very well.
WOW, ending flag feature. THAT was a great run.
Rancho Cucamonga HS - "The Eulogy"
I love these stained glass props. Very nicely designed.
Nice echappe, ladies.
Get it, sabre line!
Rancho is blowing this run out of the water. Everything is clicking perfectly in place.
Palm Dessert Charter MS - "Umbra"
So, this is a MIDDLE SCHOOL colorguard. Keep that in mind.
You're freakin' kidding me, with that rifle release!
This is just ridiculous. Pre-teens should NOT be this good.
I am literally crying, right now.
It is an absolute crime that this group is not going to Dayton, OH, to compete in SA championships.
Mid-East Power Regional Finals:
Paramount Open Winterguard - "Such Great Heights"
This opening section is fantastic!
Very nice port catch, rifles.
I'm digging these set, floor, and flag designs, so far.
They're doing some really awesome things with set design. The cubic props create some very cool effects as they're shaped and reshaped around the floor.
West Power Regional Finals:
Merced HS - "Human of the Year"
These props offer a lot of opportunities for really cool staging, and so far, they're being used very effectively.
Very nice effect with the height of the sabre toss being on the peak of that fermata.
That was a very well-written flag statement, Merced.
Kind of a missed opportunity with the props not being used for much outside of the beginning and the end of the show. With the mirrored side, there were a lot of parts that could've been really effective if they were reflected in the mirrors, which would change the colors of the columns.
Upland HS - "Transparency"
I'm interested to see how they use these props.
Oh, VERY COOL! Reflective surfaces. That's an awesome effect.
Once these flag timing issues get resolved, the reflection off the tables will be wicked cool.
VERY nice ensemble flag feature and exchange at the end, Upland.
I am going to take a QUICK lunch break, and will come back to bring you more action, soon, starting with Scholastic World from Mid-East.
Annnnd, I'm back. Picking up the action with Warren Central SW.
Mid-East Power Regional Finals:
Warren Central HS - "Finding Your Roots"
Very nice movement around the shape.
That was a very nice flag phrase, in between the weapon lines.
Norwin HS - "Out of My Mind"
Nice job, rifle soloist!
Excellent ensemble flag toss, Norwin.
This set is ridiculously cool. I like the deteriorating wood motif on the floor and the walls.
That closing flag statement to the end is just phenomenal.
Miamisburg HS - "Yesterday's Tomorrow"
Such a beautiful set, floor, and track.
So many opportunities in this work and body for expressive performances, and Miamisburg is delivering.
This blue and green silk is just gorgeous.
Center Grove HS - "Finding Peace"
I REALLY dig electric blue against black, as a color scheme. That's not sarcastic. It's one of my favorite combinations.
I love this opening movement book.
That floor spin with the humans was great!
Ensemble pink flag section is really well-written; very responsible to musical cues, and smooth in its execution.
Carmel HS - "A Lot of Strength Left"
That was a really great half-cartwheel dance moment in the back right.
Nice backhand catch out of the quad, sabres!
Excellent recovery from that sail, flag in the front.
This rifle writing in the stand-still feature is so well done.
Such a beautiful ensemble flag add-on statement.
Avon HS - "O Night Divine"
There's a secret in the circular clothes rack, for anyone who can look close enough. #SAC
This weapon work is INSANE for a high school.
On "applause," the rifles clap underneath the exchange. On "only heard the flaws," they catch on the half.
Every time I see this show, I literally WEEP from how good these kids are.
Juxtaposition - "1955"
Just like Maya Angelou is this year's WGI Poet Laureate, motor vehicles are apparently this year's WGI Objet D'art.
There's some really great rifle writing in the front-right corner.
An interesting optical illusion: for most of the performers, because their uniforms are in greyscale, against the black floor, the performers, themselves, appear to be in greyscale, as well, from up top. Another artifact of this is that any color absolutely pops out, making the colors on the flags to appear like they've been processed in Technicolor (TM).
There are a LOT of great things going on in the equipment writing, in this show.
Lexis - "Sleeping Alone"
I've been Live Blogging since 8:30 AM ET. I'm ready to "Sleep Alone," right now.
This opening movement segment is really well executed.
A couple of early releases, but a great rifle moment, regardless.
So many great moment in this show. I LOVE the silks.
Black Gold - "The One You Can't Forget"
Nice rifle exchange.
This sabre book is nicely written.
Good layering between the pink and green flags.
Onyx - "Shelter in Place"
For the record - yes: that IS literal garbage that Onyx is strewing across the floor. It'll make sense, later. I promise.
The picket fence flags are new since February. A vast improvement over the ones they had, then.
I love these new closer flags, as well.
Nice ensemble six, rifles.
Blessed Sacrament - "A Conversation"
I'm loving the dichromatic uniform scheme.
Very nice flag entrance from the back-left.
I love that the black/cream uniforms represent the two sides of a tense conversation, and that rarely do the two sides "talk" over each other.
Bluecoats Indoor - "The Gravity of Reality"
This show reminds me very much of Emerald Marquis, in terms of staging and show development.
This is probably one of the most innovative shows in WGI, this season, because of the way their performance track is created and performed and looped live.
The flag line section on the orange flags is just so satisfying to watch, from start to finish, because of how it develops, builds, and exits from the floor.
This pink flag section is just so musically written and performed.
The trombone player is a cast member of Blast! as a trombonist.
I love the way Bluecoats move and spin. It's refreshing to watch.
Paramount - "The Elusive Horizon"
Paramount's floor is absolutely gorgeous.
Beautiful ensemble six, sabres.
Another gorgeous flag entrance, from Paramount.
SUCH a beautiful and light ensemble 45 flag toss into the ground.
Pride of Cincinnati - "Another Door Opens"
This program makes SUCH smart, innovative, and efficient use of their ramp/door props, using them to creatively shape, reshape, enter and a exit the performance stage. Very smart design choices made with them, throughout the program.
Every individual in this guard is a professional-level performer. They move beautifully, spin beautifully, and execute consistently.
That dance line is RIDICULOUSLY good.
This green flag section is just gorgeous.
The ending is such a nice moment.
West Power Regional Finals:
ORIGINS - "Though I Walk"
ORIGINS' floor is beautiful.
Chopin's "Piano Sonata op no 2, mvt 3," commonly known as "Marche Funèbre," is one of his most well-known, darkest works.
The magenta flag statement is incredibly satisfying. It develops nicely, gives the audience time to breathe, and resolves very well.
That ensemble ripple across the floor, from right to left, is a really powerful moment.
Excellent ensemble rifle toss.
I'm going to take a short break, and will return with Independent World from the West Power Regional at 3:45 PM Pacific (6:45 PM Eastern).
We're back, picking up coverage from the West Power Regional.
Wasatch Independent - "Clue"
For those unfamiliar with the board game, its various related video games, or the film, this show is based upon the Hasbro board game, Clue. The guard's uniforms are based upon the characters in the game: Miss Scarlet (Red), Professor Plum (Purple), Mrs. Peacock (Blue), Mr. Green (Green), Colonel Mustard (Yellow), and Mrs. White (White). The weapon pictured on the flags are the various weapons from the game: Candlestick, Knife/Dagger, Lead Pipe, Revolver, Rope, Spanner (the monkey wrench).
That stand-still rifle feature was SUPERB.
That flag feature was very nicely done.
In Motion Performance Ensemble - "Shame"
In Motion's program is based upon Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 novel, The Scarlet Letter, the story of Hester Prynne, a beautiful, yet taciturn woman whose birth of a child without knowing the father gets her branded with a scarlet letter "A" (for "Adulteress").
That scarlet flag feature at the end is fantastic.
Malachi Independent - "Catastrophic Exaggeration"
Malachi's program is combination of several tracks, the most prominent of which is Björk's "107 Steps," from the 2000 movie musical, "Dancer in the Dark." The brown planks are meant to represent a hangman's noose, a reference to the scene in the film in which Björk's character, Selma, is being taken to her execution by hanging.
I love this opening movement block. So well executed.
This blue flag spins beautifully.
I really like how the wooden planks are used to shape, reshape, and reset the performance stage.
Another gorgeous flag design.
Any time you pack performers so tightly into a small space and make them spin in ensemble, it's a HUGE risk. Even the slightest timing issue will ruin the entire effect. Once that flag moment gets cleaned up, it's going to be amazing.
FeniX Independent - "Skyscraper Blues"
FeniX Independent has some of the smartest design in WGI, this season. The columns with the dripping streams of water are just genius, and the flag/uniform designs are simple, yet effect. The staging and writing are incredibly musical and well-performed.
Very nice partner cartwheel underneath that sabre toss.
The blue flags are just gorgeous to watch.
That ending flag feature is great!
CGT Denton - "Wanted"
Such a nice opening rifle toss.
This is one of their cleanest runs of the season. The upcoming teal/brown flag feature is amazing.
There's just so much to comment on, in this show. I always watch Michael Shapiro shows with bated breath, due to the high-risk nature of his equipment writing. The slightest mistake can throw the entire effect off if even one person breaks. This was a great run.
Fantasia - "Rebirth: The Musicality of Motion"
I'm glad to see Fantasia in full uniform. Say what you will, but without uniforms, it's hard to judge a show.
I love the music selection. They move very well with their equipment.
Any time you do a weapon-centric show, you take the risk of it not coming off due to precision issues. Individual performance issues are hard to hide on a white weapon against a dark background, so every error shows up 10x.
CGT Dallas - "UNSUB"
See? I told you that motor vehicles are now WGI Objet d'Art.
VERY nice ensemble rifle six.
We have the blind rifle exchange coming up around the car. Another "hold your breath" section.
All the major tricks are coming off really well, tonight.
Nice, CGT Dallas. The flag feature turned out really nice and readable.
Imbue - "Barrier"
Imbue does some REALLY amazing things with their props and staging that are innovative and spellbinding, at points.
This show is all about precision and execution, both of which Imbue does very well. I would watching this show over and over, again, to catch everything.
As I mentioned with Fantasia, white equipment against a dark floor makes it hard to hide dirt; in the same vein, black/dark flags against a white floor make it equally impossible.
The shape of the lone performer standing on the 50 staring through the barrier at the other performers is SUCH a striking image.
These moments of negative space being gradually filled with blocks of performers are some of the best in the program.
The contrary motion of the moving flag lines is super effective at building to this ensemble flag statement. It's not overly complex; it's not overwrought; it's musical without being overdone.
Diamante - "Invisible Stringe"
This is another one of those programs that you just have to watch. Forgive me if I don't comment much.
They move so fluidly. It's just a treat to watch.
The emphasis on balancing the number of performers on each side of the stage is very much appreciated.
The way the move the female dancer across the performers on the sideline is beautiful.
The amount of core control and balance it takes to hold a handstand for that long...just immensely impressive control of his body.
One Side One, the rifle feature while in the middle of a lift is an amazing section to witness. So well executed and written. It must be a nightmare to clean, though. "Okay...put down your partner who's just passed out from being held upside-down for the last half-hour to clean these counts."
i really appreciate the attention to detail from the weapon technique standpoint. They really get on top of their weapons, when they catch, and box out their arms to make a solid stop. It's so nice to watch.
That ensemble weapon release might just be THE moment to watch in Independent World Class, this season.
That's it, for us, here at FloMarching. We'll be back, tomorrow, with recaps of both the Mid-East and West Power Regionals, including scores and highlights.