Sophie's Blog: Guard gets new rifles!

Sunny skies allow for full ensemble on turf

Today was another great day here in Johnstown. After some cold and rainy weather this morning, by afternoon it cleared up. After lunch, it was warm and sunny enough that the members were putting on sunscreen. But, even though the weather became clear, the color guard still held their sectionals inside.

In the afternoon, the guard split up into three sub-sections (rifles, sabres and flags). Greg Lagola taught the rifles choreography that looks similar to the sabre work from Monday; I imagine that it’s meant to match. Eric Babula taught the flags, who gave them work that goes to “Carol of the Bells.” It’s really awesome choreography that looks beautiful with the music! Eric’s flag work is always wonderfully written; I admire him very much. Eric and Katie, the dynamic duo, focused on the flags and were having a fun time with the members between reps. Laughing and doing silly dances to the music before the flags’ entrance, Eric and Katie are really fun, awesome staff members!


After watching the guard rehearse for almost an hour, I noticed Dance Choreographer Curtis Uhlemann sitting off to the side of the gym unwrapping brand-new rifles! I don’t even spin gun, but the sight of a perfectly white rifle and black leather strap was beautiful. Sixth-year member Mark Willis spun his 39-inch rifle flawlessly, catching my eye every time. Even though I consider these people my peers, I still watch certain people spin and think, “Wow, that is incredible!” And The Cadets seem to me, if not just for the moment, to be made up of super-humans who can do absolutely anything and everything.

Later, after snack, I went down to the turf field and listened to the corps play through some tunes at full ensemble. Oh…my…gosh. I had goose bumps, and they weren’t from the cold. I absolutely love listening to the corps play. To my untrained ears, they always sound wonderful! I’m so in love with this corps.



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