Hi everyone! My name is Stephanie Black and I am a fourth year member of the colorguard at Regiment. I am also an age-out this year, which is exciting and upsetting all at the same time. I am an elementary education major from Orlando, FL. I just wanted to give you all an update of how the guard auditions went and what we’re up to now!

I have to start off by saying I am so happy that the 2011 season is finally underway! It was so great to see my phamily at camp, although I did miss the hornline terribly. The guard and percussion audition camp weekend was buzzing with excitement for many reasons. I had heard such amazing things about the hornline and conductor audition weekend from some of my friends. The colorguard is getting a new look, I guess you could say, returning to all female. Learning about this summers show ‘Juliet’ and hearing a clip from the hornline of some of the show music; that was probably the best one! Even though there were few vets at camp due to winterguard rehearsals, those who were there were ready with open arms to the new percussionists that we will have for the summer. We’re all very excited for Shane and his staff to be at Regiment and can’t wait to welcome all the percussion members into the phamily.

Friday afternoon was absolutely amazing, I finally got to see my phamily! As everyone trickled in the colorguard auditionees helped unload the truck and tape flags on poles for the weekend. The percussionists were unloading all of their equipment and getting it ready for the long weekend ahead. After registration and a quick meeting camp was underway! We danced our way through the Friday night block, it seemed to go by so quickly. That was the first time I teared up, I knew it was going to happen at some point but I wasn’t ready for it yet. Being an age-out means everything that happens this year is a last time, and it’s a very bittersweet feeling. I love this organization and I never want to leave it!

Saturday always is the longest and hardest day at camp I would say. We were all excited for the meeting at night, but we had to get through the whole day first. The morning started out with more dancing and a fabulous KC Perkins improv class; they are simply the best! We went through flag basics and then learned some choreography from Damon, one of our new staff members. After learning some flag work we split up, those who wanted to spin sabre and those who don’t. The sabres learned some warm up exercises while the flags reviewed the new work we learned. In the evening block we had our small group auditions, which can sometimes be the most stressful thing ever! Sitting and waiting for your group to be called, then going into a massive gym with four other people to show the staff what you have learned; talk about pressure. I personally think everyone handled it well and grew a lot even in just those two days. The time had finally come for our meeting, we got to hear about the show and even hear a recording from the brass camp the weekend before. The new auditionees got a little bit of history of the Phantom Regiment and we got to watch last years show!

Sunday morning came and I was really sore! Our staff is already in the zone for butt-kicking and making us fantastic, and I love it. We reviewed everything we had learned over the weekend and performed in small groups for a bit, then came my favorite but not so favorite part of the weekend, flag block. Our wonderful flag tech, Alex, led us through all the exercises we needed to remember for the season and then we did some strength building; 3 and 3 on the right and 4 and 4 on the left! For those of you who don’t know, that’s a lot of spins! Following flag basics was our final meeting and clean up. We all said our good-byes until April, which really stinks because we miss so much. Overall, camp was fantastic and I am even more excited for the season then I was before it started!

Unfortunately the guard won’t be back at camps until April, but it’s because many of us compete in WGI during the winter and spring months and it conflicts with winter camps. I would think after all the years I have been involved with this activity it would be easier for me to not be there through the winter months, but its so hard because I miss all my friends that I spend the summer with. Most of the guard will get to see each other at regionals and championships throughout the winter months. Marching winterguard is definitely a positive thing for us because it allows us to continue to build on our skills and perform, which is what we love to do.

I know that we are all so very excited about the upcoming season and can’t wait to get started!