The color guard puts on a beautiful show with twirling flags and rifles, upbeat music, and brilliant costumes. They speak through the music to portray a story that captivates the audience. Greenville University’s color guard is a close-knit community who not only diligently practices their routines together, but also their faith.
I had the opportunity to speak with Hannah Speth, the color guard leader at Greenville University, who was more than happy to share about her experience and why it stands out from the rest. “Most colleges won’t accept you,” Hannah said, “if you don’t have previous experience, yet here we welcome anyone and will strive to make sure they are taught the skills needed.” She informed me that being on the color guard isn’t as time-consuming as many college students would be worried about. They practice a total of five hours weekly and before a performance. Their main performances include football games during the fall and basketball games during the spring.
While there are many performances, Hannah chimed in to say, “we really have fun out there and it is fulfilling after we complete a successful show.” Their time spent together performing and practicing really creates a family bond between the teammates. Hannah mentioned that the color guard is a great opportunity to make friendships. They really build each other up through their encouraging words and spiritual foundation. “We pray together every practice,” Hannah mentioned, “we have prayer partners, and have members who are always willing to help you, whether spiritually or academically.” She continues by saying “we try to make God the center of everything we do. Nothing will make our band better than that.”
Beyond practices and performances at football and basketball games, they also take part in a variety of other activities. A few of which include Greenville University events such as the annual 5K and the first soccer game of the year. During October, Greenville University hosts a Haunted House that is a fundraiser for the Simple Room. The color guard and marching band work together to help make the “haunting” experience a reality by taking on a spooky character to attempt to frighten those who walk through. The marching band and color guard also take a group “field trip.” Yearly, they all go to Eckert’s Farm in Belleville, Illinois where fun fall activities and foods are offered. Although it seems as if the team only partakes in an activity once a year, they also have a meal together every Sunday night at the band director’s home (the Fairbanks) where they bond through food and movies. Hannah was quick to add, “Heather Fairbanks makes amazing food.”
The final question I am sure many are wondering is, does it pay? The answer to that is yes! Greenville University offers scholarship money to those on the color guard. Overall, becoming a part of the color guard requires little time commitment, strengthens your faith and friendships, creates fun memories, involves many great opportunities/activities, and you get paid to do all of it.
What more could you ask for? Join color guard!