This season has been unlike any other for winter guard and indoor percussion. A typical season would consist of both groups traveling around the south to compete in competitions in front of a live audience and judges. However, because Covid has prohibited large gatherings such as these to take place, both winter guard and indoor percussion have been competing virtually this season.
Monica Rau, assistant band director at E. D. White, said that the biggest thing that sets this season apart from others is the lack of having a live audience there. The students have learned to thrive while performing live, so the absence of an audience is definitely something that takes some getting used to. Although it is different, Rau said that she is thankful that the competitions are still taking place.
“We are blessed to have somewhat of a ‘normal’ season,” said Rau.
Although there is no traveling and live audiences, guard coach Olivia Adamietz talked about some of the advantages of recording performances, saying that they are able to record on any day of the week rather than have a set date and time to perform.
“With virtual performances, we are also able to be in a controlled environment. We can easily control who is watching which helps the performers be a little more comfortable. Even through so much uncertainty this season, these girls have really proved their love and dedication for this activity,” says Adamietz.
Guard member Hannah Siegel talked about what a typical competition day now looks like for the team, saying that they filmed the performance a week in advance. The girls will show up early to get some extra practice in, then they go into the band room to get dressed. They do their hair and makeup, put on their costumes and then gather to pray. Once they are fully ready, they start their performance in the main gym.
“We normally video the show two to three times to make sure we do our very best to send of for judging,” Siegel said.
Hannah Hebert, guard member, also said that the team is doing their best, but that she misses the performance high that she gets from performing in a room full of people.
“The noise difference is drastically different. On a normal season, people cheer so loud that sometimes you can’t even hear the music. Not having that same atmosphere is definitely different,” said Hebert.
Despite all the changes and challenges, the guard has had an exceptional season and has placed first in all virtual competitions.
Similar to winter guard, indoor percussion has also been competing virtually. Matthew Ledet, senior section leader, said this year has been different not only because of the virtual aspect, but also because this year’s show is just the front ensemble.
“This year’s show is just the front keyboard ensemble in the show. Since there was no marching season, the drum line did not get that experience to carry with them into the indoor show. We decided to hold off and just do a keyboard ensemble, and percussion will join next season,” said Matthew Ledet
Matthew Ledet said that they have consistently receiving all ones on their performance. For the first few competitions they have been giving them general rating of excellent or superior, but for the local competitions they gave them specific number scores. They received a 93, which is the second highest score in the history of E. D. White’s local circuit.
Indoor coach Keith Ledet said that the thing the student miss most is the audience reaction and not getting to travel and see other groups perform. Although there is much uncertainty, the team has remained optimistic through it all.
“It has been different, the kids have made the best of it and are performing their show very well,” said Keith Ledet.