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Winter Guard is Scholastic A World Champion and Gold Medalist in WGI WORLD Competition

Photo caption: Photo with farm House From left to right: Top row standing on porch- Omari Simmons, Lia Kitteringham, Anne Pickhardt. Front row standing on ground and seated- Gracie Wagner, Yuna Asano, Mackenzie Jackson, Emma Adcock (Guard Captain), Michaela Johnson, Ava Cortelli, and Nicole Patton.

Marvin Ridge High School is celebrating the Scholastic A first place gold medal standing of its Marvin Ridge varsity winter guard team. Marvin Ridge is the first North Carolina Scholastic A team to ever win first place at the annual Winter Guard International (WGI) world competition.

123 teams from around the world came together April 16th through the 18th. The competition is so large it takes place in three venues. Competitions are held simultaneously at the Nutter Center at Wright State University in Dayton and the Cintas Center in Cincinnati with the final round taking place at the University of Dayton Arena.

Marvin Ridge placed third out of 123 teams in Scholastic A preliminaries, which allowed them to advance to semifinals with 31 other teams. The Marvin Ridge Team then moved into second place in Scholastic A semifinals and advanced to the Scholastic A finals round with 14 other teams. A great final run of their show entitled “There’s No Place Like Home’ propelled them into first place where they became Scholastic A World Champions and gold medalists. This young team has competed at world competitions in the past but this is the first year they have made it into finals.

The team had a very good season and they also won first place and were decorated with gold medals for winning the circuit Carolina Winter Ensemble Association (CWEA) Championships that were held in Rock Hill, SC at the end of March.

Marvin Ridge Winter Guard Director, Brian Winn, had this to say about the team and the season. "This guard has come a long way this season.  The kids are incredibly hard workers who set high goals for themselves in the beginning.  From that point on, I pushed them to achieve those goals and they never failed to rise to the occasion.  I'm very proud of the success this guard has seen and I am excited to see where the program goes in the future.  Ever since I joined the staff at Marvin Ridge in 2014, I have seen growth and I know that it will continue with the great support from the school, parents, and community.  I am so proud to call myself the director of the 2015 Winter Guard International Scholastic A World Champions and be able to work with these amazing kids!"  


The varsity winter guard team is comprised of 10 students from Marvin Ridge High and Middle School. This team includes Guard Captain Emma Adcock, and guard members Omari Simmons, Anne Pickhardt, Michaela Johnson, Nicole Patton, Lia Kitteringham, Gracie Wagner, Mackenzie Jackson, Ava Cortelli and Yuna Asano. This team has dedicated over 200 hours to practice and nearly every Saturday from January through April competing in local and regional competitions.

Their show, There’s No Place Like Home, is based on Dorothy’s story of leaving the city and getting back to the farm. The floor for the show is a bright yellow brick road fading to grey brick and then disappearing into the dirt; this leads to a grassy section on the far side of the mat. A farm house sits in the grassy area and the team ends up on its porch at the conclusion of the show waving to the city they left behind. The show music is Goodbye Yellow Brick Road recorded by Sara Bareilles.

Winter Guard is considered the sport of the arts because it brings music to life through dance, flags, rifles and sabers. Each competing team has a choreographed show with colorful mats and often times props. Technical precision with the use of the equipment as well as the overall visual effect, general effect, design, movement and dance are all aspects that are judged. The color guard performs during the fall season as part of the marching band and at the end of marching season moves into the winter guard season with a stand-alone show.

There are currently 10 countries that compete in winter guard including the United States, Canada, Belgium, Holland, Germany, England, Ireland, Korea, Japan, and Africa.

This dedicated Marvin Ridge team is under the direction of Brian Winn with assistance from Emma Boyce, Madison Adcock and Allison Mayer. Brian has been coaching world class and independent teams for 11 years. He currently teaches dance at Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte and is a graduate of Winthrop University in dance education.  Brian started performing in high school color guard and then marched 3 years of Drum Corps with Capital Regiment and Phantom Regiment. He spent another 4 years performing Independent Winter Guard with Etude and Phantom Regiment World. Mr. Winn leads the Color Guard that accompanies Marvin Ridge High School Marching Mavericks in the fall season as well as the varsity and junior varsity winter guard teams.

More information on the art of winter guard can be found at www.WGI.org and www.CWEA.org. More information on the team and Marvin Ridge Bands can be found at www.marvinridgebands.org.

If you would like to support the Winter Guard and Marvin Ridge Band program, please contact bethkitteringham@gmail.com or MCortelli@pentaengr.com.








Written by: Beth Kitteringham, Parent
Posted: May 12, 2015 by Lisa Justice

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