Hello I’m Anna Holtmeyer from Missouri and this is my first season with the Phantom Regiment’s Winter Guard, but not my first season with the Regiment program. I will be aging out this summer after two stunning seasons with the Regiment’s Drum and Bugle Corp. I came to the Winter Guard looking for another mind-blowing season, and after this weekend at the Nashville Regional, I know that we are off to a beautiful start. We placed third under The Pride of Cincinnati and Northeast Independent.

The weekend began Friday night as we all arrived in different carpools to Beech High School in Tennessee. Most people were there by 7:15 and we began our rehearsal at 8pm at a neighboring middle school. We started by restaging and choreographing the very beginning. We added the black fabric and everyone starts out underneath it. It creates a really awesome effect as different people start to emerge from the cocoon and the rifles are revealed in the back. We spent the rest of the evening cleaning and doing a run. We were done by midnight and off to sleep. We all struggled with the lack of nice showers and the guys either had to wait until all the girls had showered (from all 8 units staying at the school) or walk to another school to shower.

Saturday morning was a pretty late one and we awoke to a wonderful breakfast spread from Mr. and Mrs. B and continued on to rehearsal where we cleaned more, ran chunks and did a run. We were even graced by the wonderful Rosie Queen who stopped in to watch some of our rehearsal and our final run.

Show prep was rather rushed as we only had about 45 minutes to shower, eat, do our hair and make-up, and leave for the 45 minute drive to the show sight. Many of us girls had to improvise and were even doing our hair and make-up as the boys drove us. We all got there safely and even with some time to spare.

This weekend was our second show and we came out three times stronger then the first. We reworked the beginning of the show and added in a whole new layer, literally, by adding in black fabric; however, just like all great things, It Takes Time . Nashville was also the debut of our new uniforms and we look striking in them.

The day was not easy for all units performing. It is always hard to give it your all for prelims and finals in one day. Not only did the Regiment give it our all, during our second performance, a fire of passion was lit inside all the performers. Most of us had friends, family, and other peers cheering us on. Some people had their home show while others got to perform for family that had not seen them perform in many years. As for me, Nashville was extremely special because it was one of two times my parents will see us this winter season.

For my two shows, I had amazing moments in them. Some include the look on my parents face when I smack a catch or the way I dance across the floor. It’s in these moments I take a second to thank my parents for believing in me so I can achieve anything I put my mind to.

Sunday was an abbreviated and relaxing rehearsal as many of us had a great distance to travel in order to get home. We again restaged the opening of the show and then finally got to cleaning the flag feature. We didn’t finish with a run through which was sad since we had quite a crowd who came out to watch us rehearse.

The Phantom Regiment Winter Guard is off to a running start, and I can not wait to see the ending show, because I know it will be one of the awe-inspiring shows at WGI. As Adam Sage would put it “Change does take time and within that time, beautiful things emerge.”