A look inside Fremont’s color guard team

Photo+Courtesy+of+Jason+Asuncion

Photo Courtesy of Jason Asuncion

Beatrice Levine, Staff Writer

“We’re just the people who swing the flags.”

All across the nation, high school marching bands are gearing up for competitions and playing at the weekly football games, Fremont High School included. FHS has a marching band of 65 members and a color guard of 23. The band debuted at the beginning of October with their new presentation of Classic Rach, a compilation of some of the greatest rock songs ever made. Fremont has had a color guard team since 1999. The team has new choreography, music and costumes every year.

 “[Color Guard] is a great visual aspect of the marching band show and it gives an added feel, outside of the performance and the music and the marching, it just gives something else,” senior and student head of color guard Rayyane Matonding said.

A Color Guard is a group of performers who present alongside a band, dance, throw flags and display and spin various props. FHS plays in a different tournament every week, with the Northern California Band Association (NCBA) as their final goal. NCBA is an association who will hold the Marching Band’s final competition, which will determine the best band in Northern California.

They have been in rehearsals since Aug. 3, and they practice for about 14 hours a week.

“We actually haven’t had a lot of pressure to finish the show, because we’re on a very good track especially for where we are in the season,” junior and assistant color guard student leader Ainsley DeSousa said. “So, even with COVID and with the reduced practice days we’re actually very close to finishing the show in such a short amount of time.”

Of the Color Guard’s 23 members, most of them are freshmen and sophomores with only a few repeating marching members and upperclassmen, or “vets”. On October 9th, they had their first performance, placing first in their band size class, third in the quality of their brass instrument section and third place in how well their drum majors performed.

The Color Guard team typically starts its practices with warm ups, dance lines and inspections of their equipment and weapons. The members then transition into choreography and techniques before joining practice with the rest of the band to practice the show together.

Dancing is a big part of color guard, adding to the overall strenuous nature of the performances.

“The judges, they usually judge on technique, or how clean we are, and even though people might see that we dropped a lot, the judges don’t actually take points for that,” Matonding said.

General effect is also a rating for the team, such as how much of an artistic impression their presentation makes on the judges and crowd. Color Guard, like dancing, is interpretive, and the artistic element is a major part of the sport.

With flags and weapons spinning, Fremont’s Color Guard team will not disappoint.