By: Alicia Sharp
Congratulations to all of our 2023 Scholastic A class finalists! Review their productions below in order of Finals placement.
Dobyns-Bennett truly outdid themselves with their 2023 production entitled The Bride – of Frankenstein, that is. In one of the most beautiful costumes of the year, the performers from Dobyns-Bennett captured the attention of the audience and held it through every second of their supernatural performance. A weapon line that can do it all, every release confidently returned to their hands and was met with cheers from the crowd. As the music changed, Frankenstein’s Monster was revealed as flags adorned with his face filled the floor. The guard’s final flag feature was performed facing into the center of the floor around Frankenstein’s green Monster, which came ALIVE, and twirled the bride atop a moving platform. The final note of the show was drowned out by the thundering applause of the crowd who leaped to their feet in appreciation.
Clear Brook HS
Clearbrook High School entered the arena in glittering fashion, setting the stage with mirror props across the floor for their 2023 production entitled Self Reflection. Beautiful costuming and colors of silver and blue brightened the arena and allowed the audience to see their own reflections as the guard performed. While the program featured beautiful choreography on sabre and rifle that the performers achieved with ease, the shining moment in this production was the final flag hit. Featuring red silks and a striking color change, the design and layering of the flag hit was not only impressive, it was achieved impeccably by the performers who obviously love their show.
Franklin High School’s show, My House, featured a stage set with larger-than-life props, all mentioned in the music by the same name. Not to be outshined by the stage, the members of the guard stood out among the props with their absolutely stunning dance abilities. Demonstrating a command in the movement caption was just the beginning for the guard! Throughout the show, they demonstrated high achievement in every area, elevated by a sensitivity to the soundtrack that added to the overall beauty of the production. The audience was left inspired by the show and appreciative of the performers.
Timeless and Elegant, the members of Mason High School stole our hearts with their production of Never Love Again. With performers adorned in understated brown dresses, the show was performed with unmatched poise and breath that mimicked the beautiful soundtrack. Skillful sabre work elevated their performance and was repeatedly met with screaming cheers from the arena. The ensemble flag feature was graceful and elegant, stunning the audience with the performer’s precision and skill. It was an all-around lovely performance from Mason High School.
ED White HS
ED White’s production of Happy Little Bluebirds was a delightfully pretty show performed to “Over the Rainbow.” The performers glistened in baby blue costumes as they moved gracefully as an ensemble. Airy and light flag choreography added to the beauty of this show, and the prowess of their weapon line was met with cheers and appreciation from the audience. Their final flag hit was a colorful rainbow, providing a sweet ending to this lovely 2023 production.
Holly Springs HS
Holly Springs High School told the story of Geppetto and Pinocchio in their production of “Geppetto’s Wish.” Boisterous movement choreography from the ensemble commanded the audience’s attention from the beginning of the performance, with their skill on sabre and rifle elevating the story. A key moment captured the audience as rifles were released sequentially across the floor, leading to a solo toss from Geppetto. The performer nailed his catch before blue flags overtook the floor in a lovely flag feature. The show concluded with a soundtrack voiceover of Geppetto wishing upon a star, as a shooting silver flag released glittering confetti over the ensemble.
Mt. Vernon HS
As children giggle and the song of a music box plays, Mt. Vernon High School entered the floor from a large toybox prop, exploring movement reminiscent of the games one played in childhood. The program featured a confident weapon line that demonstrated expertise of their rifle choreography, performing it with poise. Gorgeous purple and gold silks were used in the ending flag statement that culminated with an ensemble turn under the final toss. The program came to conclusion with the performers gathered around a bench, looking back at the toy box, and Mt. Vernon succeeded in showing the audience a view of the world Through the Eyes of a Child
Salem High School opened their program titled Symphony N. 23 with various instruments with which the performers danced as “I hear a symphony” by Cody Fry played. Beautifully dressed in costumes that recall musical images and piano keys, the impressive members of Salem achieved weapon moments that had the audience on their feet and demonstrated a command of the equipment that was a testament to A class achievement. A beautiful flag hit concluded the program, leaving the Audience desperate for an Encore!
“Dream State,” Reeths-Puffer High School’s production, was set on an asymmetrically cut tarp of various shades of orange that intrigued the audience from the beginning. Performers were dressed simply in elegant maroon dresses that encouraged the focus of the show to be on the members’ strength on equipment. The small but strong weapon line brought cheers and yells from the crowd, but what really brought the crowd to the edge of their seats was the final flag feature. Velocity in the flag choreography presented a challenge that the performers met enthusiastically and achieved masterfully before they completed their show with an audible sigh, causing the arena to erupt in applause.
Bartram Trail HS
Set to a remarkably beautiful rendition of “Fix You,” Bartram Trail’s production, entitled Lights Will Guide You, began with a performer being carried over her teammates and lifted onto the floor. The program utilized one piece of equipment at a time, showcasing the ensembles’ ability to confidently command their choreography. Full ensemble sabre and rifle was a bold choice for this group that paid off immensely, with solid catches and achievement all around. A gorgeously written flag feature that was sensitive to the soundtrack concluded the program, and the performers finished looking into the light, towards home.
Worthington Kilbourne’s production demonstrated elegant equipment work and movement throughout their program. Performers adorned in gorgeous shimmering green and gold costumes entranced the audience as they flawlessly danced. A beautiful gold flag statement received audible reactions from the audience as they appreciated the subtle nuance in the choreography. As the gold faded away to black, a single performer was left spinning as the guard lifted their green and gold tarp, effectively removing all color from the arena and reiterating their show title, “Nothing Gold Can Stay.”
Mt. Juliet HS
Mt. Juliet’s production of Another Hundred People showcased this guard’s strength in movement. Adorned in teal on a yellow backdrop, they took us on a journey by train that featured an exciting command of rifle as the members nailed every toss. The arena was all aboard the Mt. Juliet train as the team progressed their show with a gorgeous flag hit. As the show concluded, members moved train car props together before boarding the train again. This bright and beautiful show was lovely to watch.
Walton High School’s production entitled Reflection is a beautiful show set to “Mother” by Tori Amos. The program is set on a light floor and features large window props with sheer curtains. The performers of Walton High School utilized the curtains throughout the performance in a way that elevated the maturity of the show. The audience adored a section of the program that featured soloist skills on weapon before moving into a lovely flag feature that the members executed with ease. The show finished with the performers looking through the windows and onward.
Billerica Memorial Combined Schools
Billerica Memorial Combined Schools blew into the arena with their production entitled Harmonic Breeze. Performers began the program swaying in the wind as chimes rang out in the soundtrack and on the floor. Demonstrating maturity and strength, the performers enchanted the audience with their choreography, nailing each release with ease. An exhilarating final flag feature showcased the performers’ ability to explore time and space as they seamlessly moved in and out of the floor. The show concluded with the performers spread across the floor ringing small wind chimes and bringing smiles to all.
Southlake Carroll HS
Southlake Carroll High School set a stunning stage for their program entitled A Long, Long Time. A beautiful, marbled floor depicting the moon and stars was juxtaposed by performers dressed in shimmering white. A haunted version of “Rocket Man” played as the performers prepared for blast off. Demonstrating a solid command of their rifle choreography throughout the program, the Southlake Carroll weapon line impressed the audience with each release and catch. Shining Silver flags were used in the final flag hit during which the performers achieved bold body choreography underneath the final tosses, bringing the audience to their feet in applause.
Hernando High School brought Several Circles to the arena. Performed on a tarp covered in colorful circles and with members dressed in black costumes that featured a different colored circle each, their production was a pleasing demonstration of skill and control. An intense and dramatic final flag statement built to an ensemble release that matched the peak of the soundtrack. With the completion of a beautiful flag statement, the performance ended as it started, with the performers in a circle on the floor once again.
Rock Hill HS
Rock Hill HS’s production entitled Cry Me a River featured performers adorned in sparkling purple as they took a soulful approach to Barbara Streisand’s song by the same name. Set on a watercolor floor with an elevated stage, the performers achieved a high level of personal performance by connecting with the character of their show. Their final flag featured Barbara’s face on a yellow and purple backdrop with brilliant musical choreography that added to the excitement of the program. True to their inspiration, the performers completed their show gathered around their stage for a final bow.
Kettering Fairmont HS
Kettering Fairmont brought florals to UD Arena for their final performance of Bluem. The show opened with the performers dancing onto the floor to their jazzy soundtrack. One member moved across the arena opening a flower printed tarp, and as the show progressed, 4 other tarps were opened, revealing large blue flowers. One of the most striking details of the program was how the performers commanded their flag choreography, demonstrating their range of skill in an opening flag feature. As the guard explored the performance space through density and expansion on their staging, the audience was left impressed and in awe of the beautiful performance.
Lockport Township HS
The performers of Lockport Township delighted the arena with their show entitled This is Love. As a voice-over lamented how wonderful it is to love someone, the adorable members of the guard moved gracefully in pink plaid skirts with bright smiles. While the show was filled with strong rifle releases that were confidently caught, what made this program particularly special was an elegant flag feature performed to the simple jazz piano in the soundtrack that captivated the audience. As the performers wrapped their show coupled together in various poses throughout the floor, the audience couldn’t help but smile in appreciation and love.
Larry A Ryle HS
In the program’s first-ever trip to Dayton, performers of Larry A Ryle high school captured the audience with their emotional performance of their 2023 production entitled Particles. The rifle line shines in this show about personal growth, nailing their choreography to cheers and screams from the audience. The performers move building blocks throughout the floor during the production, rearranging them until they find just the right form. A gripping dance statement builds into a gorgeous final flag feature that demonstrates their impeccable skills and showcases their belief in their production’s overall meaning.