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Hundreds flock to Keystone Indoor Drill Association Show

All-day event drew participants from 19 different schools

February 26, 2011|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com
  • Members of the Waynesboro (Pa.) Junior Color Guard perform Saturday evening at J. Frank Faust Jr. High School in Chambersburg, Pa.
By C.J. Lovelace, Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Hundreds of parents and performers packed the gymnasium at J. Frank Faust Jr. High School on Saturday for Chambersburg's 2011 Keystone Indoor Drill Association Show.

The all-day event, which featured percussion ensembles and color guard acts that tossed rifles, batons and flags into the air while performing choreographed dance movements, drew participants from 19 different schools from across the Tri-State region.

Performances are similar to the traditional outdoor high school football half-time show, but is performed indoors with taped music rather than a live band, said Pam Hildabridle, director of Chambersburg's Indoor Color Guard.

"Both indoor guard and indoor percussions are very similar to say 20 half-time shows," she said. "As one percussion or guard line is on, they then go off and the next group comes in."

As guard acts began their performances early in the show, numerous parents and families were forced to stand around the outskirts of the gym floor because almost every seat in the bleachers was taken up.

Diane Lewis of Chambersburg came out to support her daughter Kathryn, who is a sophomore member of the Chambersburg Blue Guard after starting three years ago. Lewis said she also has another daughter in college who spent five years in the guards in high school.

"It's fun to watch them start out as beginners, and then they just learn more and more skills," she said. "They get more comfortable around people and become little performers."

Aaron Startzman, a North Hagerstown senior and member of their White Guard, has been performing for nine years.

"I love it because it's all I do," he said.

The guard groups are divided into several different divisions, based on experience, Hildabridle said. They are judged by their movement, equipment (props), ensemble analysis and general effect, with each category being worth 25 points each.

"I really like indoor a lot because it involves so much dance," said Chelsea Helman, a senior on the Chambersburg Blue Guard. "I really like performing. It takes so much work, but it's so worth it when you get out here and get to perform for these people (and) see their reaction."

Regardless of the age or ability level, every performance garnered loud applause from onlookers as guard teams rushed their sets on and off the gymnasium floor.

Hildabridle's daughter, Erica, a senior captain on Chambersburg's Blue Guard, said the effort it takes to set up and tear down for routines can become quite strenuous and the sport deserves a little more recognition.

"What we do is artistic as well as athletic at the same time. It's very artistic, but the fact is you have to be in a good physical condition," she said.

"Any person can come and learn if they want to, just like with any sport. And with any sport, you can get hurt, and we have many injuries throughout the year.

"As far as us not being a sport, I'd like to see a football player try it," she said with a smile.

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