You’ve probably already read about the Calgary Stampede Showband’s success at the World Association of Marching Show Band (WAMSB) championships earlier this month and their volunteerism in Brazil, but some of the best parts of the trip didn’t make the headlines. Below, Showband colorguard coordinator Rochelle Siddall tells us about one experience that made the experience especially memorable for her!
“I was cleaning up our equipment after one of our performances when members from a Brazilian marching band approached in awe of the amount of equipment we had. One young man attempted to translate his colorguard’s many questions. They thought the Showband’s colorguard girls were beautiful and very talented. At one point I demonstrated how our pocket flags worked and pure excitement followed. Over the next hour the boys played with all different pieces of our equipment. I taught them some basic exercises with stops on rifle. They were eager to learn and had obvious talent; each boy picked up the material very quickly. In these moments of sharing there was one common language – no need for translation. The language of colorguard is universal. As we left the main boy begged that we come and teach them in the following year.
“In these moments of sharing there was one common language – no need for translation. The language of colorguard is universal.”
It was a very humbling experience and certainly a memorable part of my teaching career. These boys learn material from watching drum corps DVDs and attempting to mimic the choreography. They take a no fear attitude and will attempt a trick with no hesitation. They each brought a desire to please me with tricks of their own. The tricks themselves were neat, but it was their true love for the sport that kept my attention.”
Rochelle Siddall is an alumna of the Calgary Stampede Showband (2004 – 2006) and prestigious drum corps Santa Clara Vanguard (2007, 2008). She has taught at Calgary marching bands, including the Calgary Round-Up Band and Calgary Stetson Show Band since 2005 and has been teaching the Calgary Stampede Showband’s colour guard since 2008. Rochelle currently spins with Escalade and Dynamic winterguards here in Calgary (the latter of which she is also the director).