Saying Goodbye to a Stellar Season

The winter guard celebrates their last performance of the season

On Sunday, April 23, the winter guard had their final competition at the Mid-Atlantic Indoor Network (MAIN) Championships in the RWJBarnabas Arena in Toms River, NJ. The team finished in fifth place and now that the season is coming to an end, the team is struggling to say goodbye to such a memorable season.

The season began with their competition at Hillsborough high school, their first MAIN competition in the Scholastic AA class of the season. From there, they went on to compete at Bridgewater-Raritan high school, then traveled all the way to Bethlehem, PA for the Winter Guard International (WGI) Regional, then to Stratford, CT at the Musical Arts Conference Championships, and finally ended the season with this last performance. For each competition, the winter guard performed a darker version of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and used props involving beams, apt for their program titled ‘Moon and Beams.’  

After originally being placed in a higher class than they expected, the winter guard didn’t expect this season to go the way it did. Trish O’Shea, the director of the winter guard, said this unexpected promotion “is such a great feeling” and is proud of the winter guard’s final score. 

Denisse Renderos, captain of the winter guard, said the “overall season exceeded everyone[’s] expectations,” especially since it started with people who barely knew each other or how to spin the props. 

Although the guard had their last competition on Sunday, the team had a Friends and Family performance Saturday, April 22. During this, O’Shea says she had “a hard time letting go of this amazing season” and felt sad throughout the performance. 

The guard will begin its new season alongside the marching band as the color guard next school year. But the guard isn’t just saying goodbye to the memories and victories, but also to some of their team members, like Renderos herself, who will be leaving NVOT and finishing her senior year at Northern Highlands Regional High School. “I’m truly so proud of my guard and heartbroken this is my last season. I know I taught my team well and they will do a great job moving forward without me,” Renderos said. 

Although she will be leaving the school and ending her winter guard career, she plans to return to help out with future guard members and visit their competitions the following year by joining O’Shea’s alumni team, eNVy. 

The team will have a new season. There will be a table for the winter guard at the NVOT marching band home show on September 23.