We Are All Wobblers

Chris Dillon

I wish there was some way that young performers in our activity could sit down and have heart-to-heart chats with World-Class performers. In these chats, no pretenses would exist, and they would be able to share all of their questions, concerns, triumphs and failures. My guess is that these very different performers would find that they have an awful lot in common.

We’ve All Been Newbies

I think it would be shocking for the younger or less experienced performers to discover that the super stars of our activity once struggled with the very same things they do. Learning to spin a flag, saber or rifle is not a skill we are inherently born with. Much like a toddler learning to walk, there is wobbling, falling and looking anything but graceful. So, yes, World-Class divas were once toddlers, too, and I’m quite sure that they did their share of wobbling. However, they made it through this phase, and so can you!

We’ve All Had Bad Days

I’m also confident that there were days when they just wanted to throw in the towel and give up on this thing called color guard.

Do not be fooled into thinking it is just you who has these days—all of us do!

Just as an attitude of doom and gloom makes you see more problems, facing the future with a sense of wonder makes you alive to all sorts of wonderful things that are going on, right now, everywhere around you.

Realize that you have the exact same potential within you as your mentors. Never sell yourself short!

We Can All Triumph

Finally, in the midst of our time with our World-Class performers, I’m sure they would tell us one last thing: All of the hard work, tears, frustration and wobbling was worth it, for they never imagined how amazing it would feel to have conquered all of the challenges and gone on to being top performers in an activity that they love.

About the Author

Chris Casteel has been involved in the color guard activity for more than 20 years. She is currently an adjudicator for Drum Corps International, Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association and the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC). She travels to many other circuits throughout the United States as a guest adjudicator. For the past several years, she has held the position of education coordinator for the WGASC. She has a master’s degree in education and currently teaches middle school language arts.

Focus on Phrasing

Phrasing begins with the basic building blocks of music, scales and arpeggios, and musical expression adds content to basic notes and rhythms. As a woodwind ...