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Notre Dame's Indoor Color Guard competed for the first time this past weekend.
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Band Winter Programs Debut at NDC

The Notre Dame College Band’s winter performance programs embarked on their first weekend of competition last week. The College’s Requiem Indoor Color Guard and Indoor Percussion Ensemble performed at Miamisburg High School and showed they are redefining the marching arts in Northeastern Ohio.

Performing the 2011 program “Between the Lines,” the Requiem Indoor Color Guard earned the second place in the Independent A class. It was an impressive first show for the team that will further improve its program by refining the choreography for the next competition.

The Indoor Percussion Ensemble scored an impressive 70.80 during its first competition.
The Indoor Percussion Ensemble scored an impressive 70.80 during its first competition.

The Indoor Percussion Ensemble was unopposed in its first competition in the Independent A class. But its first-week score of 70.80 was impressive and at the top of units it will compete against throughout the season. The ensemble will next compete at the Winter Guard International Regional at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio on Feb. 26. It will also perform during halftime of the Notre Dame men’s basketball game against Wilberforce on Feb. 12.

“I am consistently amazed at the progress that these two groups of performers continue to make throughout the winter,” said Director of Bands Bill Neater. “Their level of performance was astounding this weekend, and it bodes well for their future competitive aspirations. Every judge that we spoke to was amazed that this was our first year in competition.”

One of the performers’ parents, Suzanne Meehan, was equally impressed with the performances. “The music was so powerful,” she said, “and I know how hard the students have worked to put on such a fantastic show. Bravo!”

Student Joe Pavelek, member of the Requiem Indoor Color Guard, said the first competition was good practice. “It was great to get to perform our show in front of people for the first time,” he said. “Now we know what to expect for the next show to come.”

Neater said he was proud of his performers. “They practice endlessly, dedicate so much of their time to this activity, and have an unmatched work ethic,” he said. “I can’t wait to see the shows grow throughout the season.”

The Requiem Indoor Color Guard earned second place in the Independent A class.
The Requiem Indoor Color Guard earned second place in the Independent A class.

Notre Dame’s winter performance programs are an exciting addition to the College’s growing band program. In the competitive world of winter guard there are two classifications – scholastic and independent. High schools compete in the scholastic class; as a college, Notre Dame participates in the independent group. As such, it can recruit high school students as long as they conform to the age guidelines set forth by Winter Guard International.

The College recruited high school students who tried out at an open weekend in November and December to join their Notre Dame counterparts. As a result of their participation in the program, some high school seniors have decided to attend Notre Dame next fall.

“In the time I've been part of the Indoor Ensemble I feel I have become part of something bigger than me,” said one of these seniors, Dylan Brown.

“I have learned how to play a new instrument and made many friends along the way,” Brown said. “Being in high school and performing with the college I'm going to be attending next year has made me feel a lot more comfortable with the music program and the staff.”

Brown and his teammates will compete throughout Ohio in February and March. The season culminates in the Mid-East Performance Association Championships in Dayton in early April. Additionally, if they qualify, the Indoor Color Guard and Percussion Ensemble could compete in the 2011 Winter Guard International World Championships in mid-April.

To stay on top of their results and for more information on the programs, visit the band's website at NotreDameCollege.edu/band and connect to the band’s Twitter feed: @NDCBAND.