Winning on Saturday at the University of Dayton Arena in Ohio, the Santa Clara Vanguard Winter Guard is the 2015 WGI Sport of the Arts World Champion.
After tying the 2014 WGI Champion Onyx of Dayton, Ohio, with a score of 95.000 during preliminary rounds of competition on April 16, Vanguard added to its lead as the weekend progressed. The California-based guard scored 97.300 to Onyx's 96.400 during the Semifinals before achieving a score of 98.250 during the Finals which was 1.9 points ahead of the nearest competition.
A relatively new competitor to the WGI circuit which was founded in 1977, Santa Clara Vanguard marked its 10th anniversary in WGI's Independent World division this year. The 2015 title is the third in the history of organization after previous wins in 2009 and 2011.
"This year's guard has been a special group," Santa Clara Vanguard CEO Jeff Fiedler said. "Not only were they the most talented accumulation of members we've had in the 10 years we've been offering the program, they were also the most diverse, with members going back as far as the first few seasons of the SCV winter guard, as well as many members from our summer drum corps programs.
"They not only performed well as an ensemble, they were committed to rehearsal, to the developing program, to fundraising, to recruiting, and they also enjoyed each other's company very much."
Also of note among Drum Corps International-affiliated color guards was the 36-time WGI Finalist Blessed Sacrament who finished in sixth place. 2015 was the first year the Massachusetts color guard competed under the auspices of Inspire Arts & Music, which is the parent company of the Boston Crusaders.
Oregon Crusaders Independent finished in 15th place in the Independent Open Finals, while Canton, Ohio's Artistry in Blue, which is a performance program of the Bluecoats, finished in fifth place during the Independent A Finals competition. Artistry in Blue also grabbed the award for "WGI Fans' Favorite" in its division.
The color guard competition on Saturday wrapped up the second weekend of the WGI World Championships, which started April 9 with percussion-focused events also in Dayton.
The RCC drum line of Riverside, California, which as of 2015 is a part of the Blue Devils' System Blue programs, won the World Championship title in the WGI Independent World division. Cadets Winter Percussion took sixth place with a score of 94.100, while Cavaliers Indoor Percussion finished ninth in its inaugural season.
East Coast Percussion, an ensemble with ties to the Open Class DCI drum corps Raiders, took 14th place in the Independent A Finals on April 10, while OC Indoor (Oregon Crusaders) and the Blue Knights were both Semifinalists finishing their seasons in 16th and 20th places respectively. Vanguard Winter Percussion finished in 10th place and Legends finished in 6th place in their divisions and preliminary rounds of competition.
View all results from the WGI Sport of the Arts Percussion and Color Guard Championships.
DCI-affiliated groups to watch at the WGI Championships
Vanguard Winter Guard wins 2011 WGI World Championship