OBUs Bison Brigade adds new color guard team to band

By Chelsea Weeks, News Editor

With the stands full of fans and the field full of players, the Bison Brigade is adding a new element to energize the crowd: the element of color.

Oklahoma Baptist University has founded the first Color Guard team this semester and will begin marching with the Bison Brigade next semester.

“By incorporating a color guard program within our band, we have the opportunity to include more people in our band through and to further add to the life of our university in a unique way,” director of bands and assistant professor of music, Dr. Teresa Purcell said.

“Color guard incorporates elements of dance, spinning (flags) and marching; it is a striking visual addition to a marching ensemble. A unit like this adds height and depth to the marching band, while also creating a space to involve people with this unique skill set so they can contribute their talents, personalities and support to the band as a whole.”

With the help of Purcell, Emily Justice, a sophomore elementary, early childhood and special education major, and Josie Edgar, a sophomore anthropology major, used their
passion for Color Guard to start a team on Bison Hill.

“We hope to not just be a color guard team together but be pouring into each other’s lives and be a light for Christ,” Edgar said. “It’s not for ourselves and glorifying what we can do but showing the talents that the Lord has given us and using that to spread his love.”

The team currently has six teammates: Savannah Sturgeon, Allison Kirk, Larasliegh
Wallace, Rebecca Harmon and captains Justice and Edgar.

Purcell immediately saw the need for a color guard team when she came to campus two years ago.

With the ambition and perseverance from Justice and Edgar, they went through the process of making the team a reality.

For starters, they met consistently throughout the fall 2017 semester, developing a plan and set of goals for the team. The vison they created was a team of six to 10 members to march with the Bison Brigade in the 2018 season.

Starting in October and continuing through the spring semester, the trio started raising awareness for the potential Color Guard team to see who may be interested and recruiting potential team members.

Purcell, Justice and Edgar had to also deal with a variety of logistics issues regarding equipment, uniforms, management of equipment, practices, etc.

“It is a joy to watch a student group like this one grow from a seed to a flourishing organization,” Purcell said. “What’s more, it’s extremely special to observe the growth within our students who have so diligently worked to bring their visions to life.”

The OBU Color Guard will have its inaugural performance
Saturday, September 8, 2018 at the first home football game against Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Justice said the ultimate goal is to make the color guard a long-lasting thing and pave the way for the team, even if she doesn’t get to be on the field. She said this is just another way to glorify Christ.

“We hope to attract students to OBU because of the opportunity to contribute in this very unique and specialized way, and to build an expectation from our community and spectators: when you see the OBU Bison Brigade perform, you’re getting a very special and very unique experience,” Purcell said.

“What we do and who we are looks different from other college band programs around us, partially because our vision is a unique one: to share God’s truth and beauty with the OBU community at large by providing engaging musical and marching performances, and relentlessly supporting our peers and university.”

Anyone who is interested in joining the new Color Guard team can contact Purcell at Teresa.purcell@okbu.edu.

No prior experience is needed.

“They just need to have the excitement to learn something new and we can go from there,” Edgar said.

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