Thank You

Thank You

…and like that, the Winter Guard season is over!


Thank you to the entire cast, crew, instructors, board and families of Arbella Independent.  EVERY body helped to contribute to the success of our 2018 Winter Guard.

To all the kids – thank you.  Thank you for your hard work and willingness to be taught – even when it’s uncomfortable and the body is hurting and you’re pushing yourself beyond limits you thought you had….doesn’t it feel good to know what you can achieve when you push yourself that. much. further?  Painful! but soooo goood!!!  Your achievement in guard, as in life, is only limited by your mind and your willingness to do what it takes to reach your goals.  You really can do anything!  Congratulations on your amazing growth this year!  I can’t wait to see what you do NEXT year!

To our talented staff – thank you.  I am forever floored by the generosity of the color guard community.  Nowhere do you see people so willing to share their passion and skill so readily, whilst balancing busy family and work lives – for the love and thrill of it all!  (Because there’s no money in it that’s for sure!)  The desire to help the next generation of performers is truly heartwarming.  Their passion for the “Sport of the Arts” knows no limits – they know what one is capable of accomplishing – they’ve been there themselves!  And so they push, and hone, and guide and teach, just as they were taught back in the day, because they know the cast is capable of great things.  So thank you, for believing, for inspiring, for pushing and guiding our team to second place in a class higher than we were last year. That is an amazing accomplishment!

To the parents – and grandparents – thank you.  Color guard isn’t something you can simply “fit in” amongst all the other obligations of family, work and life.  And sometimes it feels like the work-life balance is a little upside down as it takes SO much effort to perfect this 4 minute show!  Your support and commitment to getting the kids where they needed to be when they needed to be there, traveling – many for long distances – over so many months is greatly appreciated.  Not to mention the financial support, tuition, fundraising, travel costs, show costs….   but I’m sure you’re agree: the transformative affect that competitive color guard has on the kids, the life skills they gain whilst doing color guard that last a lifetime – it’s totally worth it!!

To the Board – thank you.  Arbella started as an alumni organization back in 2012 with four board alumni board members, two were out of state, leaving two to kind of work everything out.  In 2016 we took the leap to start Arbella Independent, again with only two active board members and a whole lot of things to do.  It was a HUGE relief when in 2017 AI parents Sue Prideaux and Kim McCoy and staff member Linda O’Connor joined the board…

To Sue and Kim, thank you!  They have been an amazing support network for the kids – they have been there for EVERY practice, prepped the kids for every competition, been there with ice and bandaids, organized logistics and sherpa’d equipment AND fulfilled roles on the Executive Board as Treasurer and Secretary (and there’s just as much to do there, let me tell you – fundraising, bookkeeping, newsletters, correspondance….).  THANK YOU Ladies, for your amazing hard work and support throughout the season and for organizing such a lovely banquet!

Linda O’Connor, thank you! We are beyond blessed to have her as part of our organization. By now you have all come to know and love her for the amazingly talented, passionate and loving person she is (oh, and baker!) – but she is literally a FORCE – not just a Hall of Famer in the drum corps activity in which she’s been a part for 50 years, but the local and business communities as well.  When you are speaking with somebody who knows Linda (honestly, who DOESN’T) – it is always met with “OMG, I JUST LOVE LINDA!  SHE’S THE BEST!”  She is.  And that is just the small part of her they may know from a working relationship.  They probably don’t even know how she’s organized flash mobs to cheer grieving friends, made desert for visiting drum corps, how she’s randomly paid for a stranger’s dinner, adores her grandchildren, or that she inspires young people in Arbella…all this on the side of just being her regular fabulous self.  I could go on…but won’t.  This is a lady who doesn’t want recognition, who slips out and discretely pays your dinner while you’re sitting there eating it.  Well, too bad Linda. We’re shouting it from the rooftops:  You’re awesome, we love you and we want you to know it!!

Finally, to Joel Dube – thank you.  You might have surmised by now, Joel lives and breathes color guard. He can’t stand there without spinning something.  He doesn’t simply listen to music – he visualizes it, with equipment and dance….but more than all this, he understands just what being a part of a color guard can mean for a person: sharing a passion with other passionate people, creating lifelong friendships, being a part of something special, something bigger than what you can be on your own, growing in ways you couldn’t imagine.  He believes in the activity, and he believes in you kids, and that’s why Arbella Independent was created.

And so we look to the 2019 Season!  DAYTON OR BUST!  Are you in?  We sure hope so, because it’s going to be yet another year of growth and achievement – all on a WORLD stage! whoooot!

So please watch the Facebook group for updates.

While you are enjoying a little hiatus, kids please remember to keep your bodies limber and your skills sharp by practicing!  I am sure we will have a few spin camps at some point, and probably a couple of parades (4th, xmas) too.  Parents, if you are interested in being on the board, please let us know – many hands make light work, we’d love to have you.  Arbella will probably volunteer again at the Cardinals DCI show in Lynn in July if they need us – if you’re around, this summer, please keep in touch and join us.  In the meanwhile, we will be hard at work preparing for our 2019 season, DAYTON, and getting our brass ensemble ready to compete on the DCI Soundsport stage in Allentown this year.  There’s lots to do! We can’t wait to see you all again very soon.

With gratitude,




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