This past Monday night, Jacksonville State University Center Stage Performance Ensemble presented their Spring 2014 Showcase.
JSU Center Stage is a group made up primarily of Jacksonville State University young men and women that make up a color guard team.
Since forming in 1997 they have been WGI Independent A Class finalist four times: 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2013. They were also 2006 WGI Independent Open Class Bronze Medalist as well as 2007 WGI Independent World Class Finalist.
Many different talents were showcased throughout the night by different individuals. These talents ranged from dance, sabre rifle, and flag.
They entertained the audience with eight different solos, two duos and one trio.
The ensemble also jumped into the action by Mellophone players performing live while members of the Center Stage team performed a sabre routine.
Lacey Elise Lackey, who performed a solo dance, was very excited about how well the showcase went. “This is my 16th season of color guard, including marching band, drum corps, and winter guard, and it is completely my passion," she said. "Doing this is what led me to want to be a teacher too. This year has been something truly special though. Our show has such a deep meaning that really puts your whole existence into perspective.”
Lackey goes on to say that working towards being a team has been an amazing experience. “The 24 of us have spent a lot of long exhausting nights rehearsing and driving to make this season happen, but we have grown as a family in the process. I can honestly say I don't think I would be half the person I am today if I had never picked up a flag or started dancing and I assuredly wouldn't have found such wonderful friends that can accept me and love me at my lowest points.”
Each member only had positive things to say about the organization.
Ian Pilley, who performed a rifle routine, had much to say about the organization as a whole. “This organization is fantastic, and it has a strong reputation in the winter guard world," he said. "Being a part of it has pushed me to become a lot better as a performer and person. Our director pushes us to be the absolute best we can be and doesn't settle for anything less than that. In addition to the hard work, we are a family. The people I perform with out on the floor are my best friends. We support each other and have each other's backs no matter what, and we're always there to help if something goes wrong with one another. Being a part of this group has taught me a lot, and I have grown a lot as a person and performer.”
The winter guard team will be very busy in the next few months.
On March 15th, they will be traveling to Carrollton, Georgia, to teach high schoolers in a winter guard clinic at Central Carroll High School.
March 30th is the Southern Association of Performing Arts Championship, at which the team will be performing, and then April 3-5 they will be going to Dayton, Ohio, to compete in the Winter Guard International World Championships.