The drum corps affiliated winter guard units of the Santa Clara Vanguard, Phantom Regiment and the Academy came away last Saturday, April 11 with strong showings at the Winter Guard Interantional (WGI) World Championships in Dayton, Ohio.

Phantom Regiment
Santa Clara Vanguard finished fourth out of 15 groups in WGI's Independent World Class Finals competition, the group's highest placement since returning to the winter guard arena only three years ago. "Our guard's performance Saturday night was absolutely amazing and brought the house down," said Dave Meikle, winter guard director of the Santa Clara Vanguard. "They received the first standing ovation of night!" Academy members also finished with the best placement in the organization's winter guard history earning a bronze medal in the Independent Open Class. Phantom Regiment finished 10th in World Class competition.

Santa Clara Vanguard
As separate entities from their summertime drum corps units, these corps' winter guards give members a way to keep up their skills during the off-season, though some who participate in the winter guard programs do not necessarily participate with the drum corps. "I began the Vanguard winter guard to create a nucleus of local members and create a stronger color guard program year round," Meikle said. About half of the 20 members who make up Santa Clara Vanguard's winter guard also perform with the organization's drum corps. Meikle says that many of the other members are recent "age-outs" of the corps, since there are no age limits for groups competing in WGI's Independent World Class. View a complete results at