Winter guard wins the fourth annual Indy Live


Winter Guard performs their talent show winning routine on stage. Photo Courtesy of Megan Davies (12)

On Friday, December 9, Independence Student Council Association put on the fourth annual Indy Live, Independence’s student talent show. Selling about 1000 tickets, the auditorium was filled to the brim with students eager to watch the yearly event.

Indy Live presented 14 acts and featured a variety of talents including dancing, singing, magic and piano, guitar and kazoo playing. The spectacle was hosted by Masters of Ceremony Sameera Harode (10), Henry Joyce (11) and Brooke Schofield (11). 

At the end of the show, a performance from Romeo Griffin (10), Zoe Hockensmith (11), Brijit McDermott (12), Melody Nguyen (11), Will Schellhammer (11) and Catherine Veselovskiy (9), six veteran members of Independence’s varsity winter guard, was announced as the judge-chosen winning act. 

“I was ecstatic and so was everyone else in our talent show group. Winning the talent show, to me, gave our school’s color guard more recognition,” Nguyen expressed.

Paul Hartmann’s (11) magic routine and the IKPG’s K-Pop performance tied for second place, The Guitar Gurus’ (Noah Lawson (10) and Noah Peiken (10)) guitar work earned third place and Rakshit Ragav (10) singing “You are the Reason” was voted by Independence students as fan favorite act.

The performing winter guard members began their preparations four weeks before the talent show. To construct their routine, they blended the color guard elements of flag work, choreographed by McDermott, and rifle and dance, choreographed by Hockensmith and Nguyen, and borrowed some ideas from Independence’s previous marching band seasons.

The unique act revolved around a mirror theme and featured a hand-made wooden mirror prop in the center of the stage. According to Nguyen, a K-pop group inspired the use of the prop. Nguyen said, “I am a fan of K-pop, especially a group called Stray Kids. A while ago I was watching one of their concert videos and it had a mirror prop, which was the inspiration for the prop we built.”

On the day of the talent show, winter guard showcased their well-rehearsed three minute routine, earning positive reviews from the spirit judges and audience members alike.

“It was the first time I saw a performance like that and it was interesting to experience a new form of art,” applauded senior Ari Dixit.

In addition to bragging rights and a $150 Amazon gift card as prize money, part of the reward of winning the talent show was the opportunity to donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity of their choosing. Winter guard chose Team Mathias, a non-profit organization that raises awareness for childhood cancer.

The winter guard win at the talent show acknowledges the hard work of Independence’s color guard, who won the winter guard state championship last year. The winter guard season began in late November and runs through the end of March, culminating in the Winter Guard International (WGI) regionals in Pittsburgh, PA on Mar 4.

To support Independence color and winter guard, follow their Instagram (@indynationcolorguard)