Color guard competition lights up Morristown High

MHS Revolution guard at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
MHS Revolution guard at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
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The Morristown High School gym was awash in color over the weekend. Make that Color Guards.

Some 25 teams from the tri-state region participated in the Winter Guard Competition, which attracted more than 500 spectators, according to David Gallagher, Morristown High’s marching band director.

“Our staff had been preparing for months, because it was our first time ever hosting, and it was an incredible day,” Gallagher said. “It’s fascinating to take a step back and see how our program has grown over the past four years.”

MHS fielded two teams, Revolution and Rebellion, which finished fourth and seventh, respectively, in their division, which was won by Wayne Valley.

Slideshow photos by Jeff Sovelove

MHS Revolution guard at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
MHS Revolution guard at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
MHS Rebellion guard at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
MHS Rebellion guard at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Crowd at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
MHS Revolution guard at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
MHS Revolution guard at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
MHS Revolution guard at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
MHS Rebellion guard at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
MHS Rebellion guard at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Randolph's team at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Somerville High School at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
West Essex at the Winter Guard Competition at Morristown High, Feb. 10, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
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Other winners included Somerville (Novice), Hunterdon Central Red (Region A), Morris Hills (Local A) and the Mineola H.S. Varsity (National A).

The seven-minute routines combined elements of color guard, band, dance and rhythmic gymnastics, accompanied by popular music. 

Every school had a different theme, and props such as “rifles,” “swords” and flags.  Costumes ranged from somber to fantastic.

The MHS Revolution performed Shadowdance to a Latin beat, wowing the home town crowd, while its Rebellion counterpart called its routine Rebelling on the Block.  Both guards improved their scores since their last competition.

Derek Vintschger, MHS ’99, volunteered on the audio board and was impressed by the camaraderie he observed.

“One minute a group is performing, the next they’re jumping out of their seats and running to the floor to help the next group, who is competing against them, get their equipment off the floor in time so they don’t get a penalty,” Vintschger posted on social media.

“Everyone wants to see each other do their best. You hope your best is better than their best, but you’re happy for them even if they end up beating you.

“That’s the kind of attitude more kids need to have, and that’s why funding for the arts is so important, and does so much more than many people realize,” said Vintschger, a professional sound engineer who was part of a Grammy-winning team that worked on Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday concert CD.

Morristown Green correspondent Jeff Sovelove contributed to this report.

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