Color Guard FAQs

WHAT IS MARCHING BAND SEASON?

The Colorguard is most noticeably a part of the Band during Fall Marching Band Season, rehearsing as one with the Band to put together the show that is performed at competitions and football game halftimes. The Colorguard is a section, like Flutes or Percussion are sections, in order to make the whole that is the Band. For more information on marching band-type shows, check out: www.musicforall.org // www.dci.org

WHAT IS WINTERGUARD SEASON?

Winterguard Season is the competitive season involving only the Colorguard during the spring semester. A winterguard show is choreographed for a basketball-court-sized space, is performed indoors, and usually involves recorded music. The McNeil Winterguard competes against schools in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and the surrounding Hill Country. In the past, the Guard has traveled overnight to Houston for competitions. For more information on the Winterguard activity, check out: www.texascolorguardcircuit.org // www.wgi.org

DO I AUDITION TO BE IN COLORGUARD?

Yes. Auditions are an opportunity for prospective new members to learn how to spin a flag and see if the Colorguard activity might be a good fit for them, as well as for the instructor to see if the student has the attitude and work ethic for Colorguard. No one who has ever been a member of the McNeil Colorguard has known how to spin a flag before they auditioned! – the Instructor will teach prospective members beginning flag technique. No previous dance experience is necessary, only helpful.

MUST I BE ENROLLED IN THE COLORGUARD CLASS TO BE IN COLORGUARD?

Yes. The class is listed under Fine Arts – Dance, as “7104 Dance 1 – Colorguard”. It is a single-blocked class. Students will receive Fine Arts credit, and will receive a waiver of Physical Education for each semester. If, after auditions, a prosective member makes the team, the Band Director will help the member work with the Counselors to get enrolled in the class.

CAN I STILL CHANGE MY SCHEDULE AFTER AUDITIONS?

Yes. The Colorguard Instructor and the Band Director will help facilitate the schedule changes with the Counselors.

DO I HAVE TO BE ENROLLED IN BAND TO BE IN COLORGUARD?

No. Colorguard, while part of the Band, is a separate class in school. Many members have never played an instrument!

IS COLORGUARD THE SAME THING AS ROTC?

No. The McNeil Colorguard is proud to be a part of the McNeil Maverick Marching Band, and is not affiliated with the millitary.

WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITTMENT INVOLVED WITH COLORGUARD?

In order to be great, the Colorguard puts in many hours of rehearsal outside of class. Rehearsal attendance is always mandatory for members, because Colorguard is a team activity, and the entire team must rehearse for the entire team to get better. Rehearsal, while rigorous, is fun, too – members are learning and improving with their friends, on something that everyone enjoys doing. In the thick of the two competitive seasons, a member should expect to be involved up to eight hours a week outside of class, not including performances.

WHAT IS THE ACADEMIC COMMITTMENT INVOLVED WITH COLORGUARD?

Because of the no pass / no play rule, each member must make the academic commitment to their schoolwork in order to be a performing member of the colorguard. It is disappointing to everyone on the team when a member puts many rehearsal hours into a show, and doesn’t get to perform it because of a failing grade! Successful colorguard members keep up with their schoolwork.

WHAT IS THE FINANCIAL COMMITTMENT INVOLVED WITH COLORGUARD?

The largest financial outlay comes with joining, as new members are required to buy an personalized windsuit (just under $100) that will last them as long as they are in the McNeil Colorguard. Typically, every year members purchase one uniform for the marching band show, and another uniform for the winterguard show, as the subject matter and design of both shows are usually very different; typically the uniforms cost around $100 each.

Members also need to purchase shoes, gloves, show makeup, bobby pins/hair elastics/hairspray, and sometimes leotards and tights, depending on the uniform. There are many opportunities for members to fundraise through the Band Boosters throughout the year, though “trip credits” can only be used for travel costs, either for the optional annual Spring Band Trip or for the occasional winterguard charter bus cost (historically $55 a season, if needed). The Band Boosters cover all costs related to equipment and props.