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Thirty high schools compete at South High School for Winter Guard Fest

DOWNERS GROVE – The spotlight was on the Color Guards from 30 high schools competing Sunday at South High School for the Winter Guard Festival.

North and South high schools competed, both finishing third in their separate classes.

Sunday’s competition was one stop in the Midwest Color Guard Circuit, according to Downers Grove South Fine Arts Department Chairman Glenn Williams.

Judges at the contests rate the performances based on synchronicity, execution, craftsmanship and design, among other factors, and provide real-time feedback the day of the show, Williams said.

Each team has eight minutes to perform to recorded music.

South performed to a medley of pop songs centered on the theme “Time,” Williams said.

“The importance of this is giving the students ... the chance to participate and spin year round,” he said. “This pays off and it helps in the fall. The teams look better because the girls on the teams are getting more reps.”

Color Guards range from about 12 to 20 members.

“It went very, very well,” Williams said of Sunday’s event. “South is able to mobilize and run an event of this nature extremely well. For 11 years, we’ve hosted a fall marching band competition, so that’s a marching band event that has between 16 and 25 marching bands. After being skilled an adept at hosting that, hosting 30 Color Guards is much simpler.”

Williams said a team of more than 100 parent volunteers helped organize and run the Winter Guard Fest.

“There’s a lot that goes into it leading up to the day, and the group of parents put in a lot of hours to make this possible for the kids,” he said.

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