Winterguard Shines at World Championships

The Phoenix Central School District Winterguard was in the spotlight recently on the world’s biggest stage during the recent championships in Dayton, Ohio.

Their 2019 program, titled "Help Me," earned an 86 from the judges; the highest placement and score the Phoenix team has ever earned at that level. The Firebirds’ performance explored the struggle of personal barriers and reaching out for help. 

“This was a very impassioned program that really allowed the students to show a raw emotion, enhanced by their technical training that elevated them to the strongest finish in program history,” said Director Nicolas Gerling. “The success that we achieved this season is just the icing on the cake.”

While the squad finished the year as one of the best in program history, the journey wasn’t always easy, Gerling said. The season began as a rebuilding year, as more than half of the guard graduated in 2018.

“We graduated 10 seniors last year, within a group of about 17 performers this was a bit of a shock to the remaining members,” Gerling said. “We took on members that were up for the challenge at an advanced competitive level. They came in ready and willing to work their very hardest each and every day, and their success is tribute to their dedication and hard work.”

With such a stellar season, Gerling noted he was looking forward to seeing what next year has in store for the program. He said if this year’s guard is any indication, the program is going to continue to thrive on the national level.