Allie Patch has been playing trumpet as a member of the Calgary Stampede Showband since 2012. A linguistics major at the University of Calgary, she’s now the Showband’s brass captain, a member of leadership team, and teaches brass to junior high age students in the Calgary Round-Up Band. As a member of the Showband, she rehearses weekly and once a month on weekends for concert band performances and learning the Showband’s summer field show production. In addition to teaching and school work, this makes for a pretty busy schedule! On top of all this, Allie decided to learn color guard this year for the first time and joined Calgary’s prestigious Dynamic Winterguard.
“Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is immerse yourself in something completely different.”
In color guard, often referred to as the “sport of the arts”, performers use props and movement to tell a story with music. Most marching bands and drum corps have a color guard, but many groups perform on their own during the winter season as “winter guards”. Most color guard performers start early, learning and honing their skills in junior high and high school. Allie, an already accomplished musician and third year university student, decided to take up color guard this fall, “After playing so many kinds of instruments growing up, I wanted to try something new. Some things have come easier than others – hard rifle tosses are difficult – but it has been a really fun challenge.”
Impressively, Allie has taken this new challenge on without missing a Showband rehearsal. When asked how she balances it all, performing and rehearsing with multiple ensembles, teaching, and being a student, Allie says that she manages things one day at a time and finds it extremely helpful to be part of a winter guard that includes many current and past Showband color guard members.
Dynamic Winterguard is composed of a diverse group of members, all who manage the busy demands of school, work, and many of whom are in multiple performance ensembles. Members include beginners. experienced performers, and even some who have competed at the highest level in Winter Guard International (WGI) and Drum Corps International (DCI). Allie chose to join Dynamic because it provides a positive learning environment and allows her to stay focused on the other things that are important in her life. Dynamic Director Rochelle Siddall (also a Showband alumnus) told us that “members are truly interested in performing at an exceptional level and enjoy working hard to achieve that. We recognize that members have other commitments, so we see Dynamic as a secondary focus. The performers achieve such a high level that this is never a concern.”
Allie has been playing trumpet with the Showband since 2012.
This winter, Dynamic will travel to compete with its 2016 production, Freedom, at the WGI Regional in Phoenix. In addition to the opportunity to perform and compete, Allie is excited to see other color guards perform, “Now that I know what it’s like to be on the floor it’s so much more interesting to watch other people spin.”