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BHS introduces first winter guard

NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY / Brookhaven High School students perform their winter guard, a type of indoor color guard activity, routine in front of family members and friends Tuesday afternoon in preparation for their competition Saturday. This is the first year BHS has had a winter guard.

NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY / Brookhaven High School students perform their winter guard, a type of indoor color guard activity, routine in front of family members and friends Tuesday afternoon in preparation for their competition Saturday. This is the first year BHS has had a winter guard.

Parents, grandparents and other family members gathered in the Brookhaven High School auditorium Tuesday afternoon to watch BHS students perform as part of the Indoor Percussion and the school’s first Winter Guard.

Brookhaven High School Band Director Clay Whittington said the school has had indoor percussion for five years, but this year has been the first year with the indoor color guard activity called Winter Guard.

The winter guard’s full name is X-treme MsBhaven, given to the group by their instructor and new Brookhaven High staff member, Thomas Beck. Beck chose “X” to signify his 10 years teaching color guard and “Bhaven” to honor the city the school is in. He said the students at the school have always wanted to do the indoor color guard activity.

Beck has been involved with winter guard as a participant from 1996 to 2002. Beck is an ex-member of Drum Corps International and an ex-member of the Blue Devils of Concord, California. He worked as color guard instructor for McComb High School for nine years until he discovered the job opening at Brookhaven High School. Beck, who was already trying to be venture out with his instructorship, decided to jump on the opportunity.

BHS’s winter guard, X-treme MsBhaven will perform in competition Friday at 1:48 p.m. at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson. Their performance is entitled “Filling the Air.”

BHS’s winter guard, X-treme MsBhaven will perform in competition Friday at 1:48 p.m. at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson. Their performance is entitled “Filling the Air.”

Beck said the students who are a part of the winter guard have been practicing since November 2014 every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:45 to 5 p.m. He said the students have performed well under such intense and frequent practices.

The performance they’ve worked on and will be showing off at competition is entitled “Filling The Air” channeling the freefalling motion of snowflakes.

“I didn’t want it to be just another Christmas Song,” Beck said while describing the process of how the guard’s routine came to be. Wanting to focus on another aspect of Christmas other than sound, Beck found final inspiration from a snowflake he found at the Dollar Tree. After conception the students came together with practices twice a week and painting their performance space for competition.

Beck said it’s been a good experience just to see where the students have come from since they’ve started.

“If you give these kids something there’s no limit to what they can do,” Beck said. Because of this he has high hopes for the future of the program. “I can’t imagine what it’ll be like next marching season.”

Anna Mabile and Carlye Waldon are both on the Indoor Percussion team as well as X-treme MsBhaven.

“We just wanted to try out to do it,” Waldon, who’s a cheerleader also, said. Although cycling through percussion practice Mondays and Wednesdays and Winter Guard Tuesdays and Thursdays the girls enjoy the experience. Mabile, Waldon and fellow student, Anne Shannon, are participating in both activities.

Both the winter guard and indoor percussion will perform in competition at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson this weekend: Percussion Friday at 9 p.m. and Color Guard Saturday at 1:48 p.m. The Indoor Percussion performance is entitled “The Sound of My Voice” and is under the direction of Clay Whittington.