About Winter Guard International (WGI)
WGI Sport of the Arts, a nonprofit youth organization, is the leading governing body of the winter guard and indoor percussion activities. It is called the Sport of the Arts because it brings music to life through performance in a competitive format. Now entering its 33rd year, the sport continues to evolve and grow. There were over 11,000 participants at the Sport of the Arts World Championships this past April.
WGI would like to welcome you to an exciting world of performance and entertainment; a place where pageantry involves an array of equipment, movement, and skill. Winter Guard and Indoor Percussion create friendships, talents, and standards of excellence, while fostering an environment where young men and women can grow, laugh, learn, and meet challenges as a group. Welcome to WGI Sport of the Arts.
WGI Sport of the Arts exists to foster positive experiences for all who participate, by promoting education, creativity and freedom of expression through the unification of the marching arts industry, music education and the perfroming arts.
Welcome to the world of WGI! An experience where competition is based in education.
WGI was founded in 1977 to draw together the growing winter guard activity, standardize rules, and provide leadership and guidance. Now there is an international organization that offers:
WGI is governed by a Board of Directors composed of representatives from the top color guards and indoor percussion ensembles in the world, and “At Large” positions for individuals who bring their professional experiences to share with WGI.
WGI uses a competition-based approach for organizing events in order to showcase youth activities in pursuit of high standards of achievement. Events include about 42 Regionals and Power Regionals, which lead to the three-day World Championships that evaluate more than 300 guards and 170 percussion ensembles from over 40 states, and 4 countries.
Education is the basis for the developmental criteria, which defines the measurement for competitive advancement. WGI Sport of the Arts provides curriculum materials for classes in equipment, movement, and design. WGI provides a full educational program for instructors and judges through seminars and video material.
The organization promotes higher education by annually awarding $20,000 in scholarships to students from our competing units.
Winter guard is the sport of indoor color guard. Modern color guard is a combination of the use of flags, sabers, mock rifles, and other equipment, as well as dance and other interpretive movement. Color guards can be found in, high schools, middle schools, some universities, and also some independent organizations some of which are related to drum corps.
An indoor percussion ensemble or indoor drumline consists of the marching percussion (also called battery) and front ensemble (also called pit) sections of a marching band or drum corps. Indoor percussion marries elements of music performance, marching, and theater; thus, the activity is often referred to as percussion theater. Although most indoor percussion ensembles are affiliated with high schools, there are also many independent groups that draw participants from a large area.
All WGI contests provide two divisions of competition specifically for:
Scholastic - units whose membership comes from the SAME High School or a school that feeds to that
particular High School.
Independent - units whose members are not necessarily associated with a particular school.
The units are then further divided into classes:
Percussion also has Scholastic Concert Classes for units who do not include marching in their programs.
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