Winning Newtown Winter Guard To Host Winter Extravaganza Home Show This Weekend

The three levels of Newtown Winter Guard — Juniors, Junior Varsity and Varsity — will host 29 other Winter Guard on Saturday, March 2, at Newtown High School for the annual “Winter Extravaganza” Musical Arts Conference (MAC) show.

Beginning at 3 pm (doors open at 2), the Winter Extravaganza will features all 59 Newtown Winter Guard members performing their shows in exhibition.

“This is the largest Winter Guard program we’ve ever had,” said Instructor Bob Findley.

The Juniors show, with 14 students from Reed Intermediate School, is “The Greatest Show on Earth,” a circus theme that includes acrobatics, juggling and trick jump roping.

The NHS Junior Varsity 21-member team, comprising  Newtown Middle and High Schools, brings the audience back to the fun of the 1970s and 80s, with its workout-themed “Step it Up” show featuring neon pink uniforms and “what were we thinking?” big hair.

The 24-member NHS Varsity brings crowds to their feet with their soulful and inspiring show called “Lift Your Spirit,” a Native American Janos Pergely show design that features the names of the 26 Sandy Hook School victims on teepees, and dazzling flag, sabre and rifle work.

The Winter Extravaganza will also feature a performance by the drum and bugle corps Park City Pride, and will also honor nine graduating seniors from the varsity team, who will be performing in their final home show that evening: Cherokee Belval (Juniors instructor), Melissa Christiano (Juniors instructor, April Corbo, Caitlin FitzGerald (Juniors instructor), Brandon Ghent, Victoria Hanulik (captain), Grace Hubbard (captain and JV instructor), Meaghan Kelly (JV instructor) and Haley Malin.

The competition — and performances by all three Newtown teams, who will be serving as the event hosts — is expected to wrap around 8:30 pm.

Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors. Food will be available for purchase including pulled pork sandwiches, meatball grinders, kielbasa, chili fries, nachos and more.

At last week’s MAC competition at Bethel High School, the NHS varsity and juniors teams finished their divisions in first place, with the JV scoring second behind Trumbull. All three guard were delighted with their February 23 scores, which were significantly higher than the previous week in Naugatuck.

Band Director Kurt Eckhardt said he was extremely proud of the Newtown Winter Guard program, which has been impacted by a loss of practice space and plagued with bad weather throughout the season.

“The kids are doing just great,” he said, adding, “I know the Guard is really looking forward to performing in front of our home crowd on Saturday.”

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