We Caught Up with Marching Band Color Guard Member, Sarah King

Story by Lexi Carter
Photos by Anne Langan

Central Michigan University’s marching band, also known as the “spirit of the stadium,” is a staple of CMU pride. However, it’s not just the instruments and music that radiate from the field, but also the flying flags of the color guard.


Junior Sarah King has been involved in color guard for the past three years and is a section leader. Grand Central sat down with King to talk to her about the role as a member.

Grand Central: Can you explain what color guard is for people who don’t know?Sarah King: Color guard is a section within the marching band, which uses primarily flags and dance to accompany the music the marching band plays.


GC: How did you get involved in color guard, and why?
SK: I got involved starting my sophomore year of high school. I had never even heard the term “color guard” [until] I entered high school. The band director at my brother’s school recommended that I join and it has been history every since.
GC: What is a normal practice like for members in color guard?

SK: The color guard practices Monday through Friday for a little over two hours. We, as well as the drum line, are always on the field and practicing a half an hour before everyone in the band begins in order to ensure that we have choreography taught and cleaned.

GC: What has being on the color guard taught you about life?
SK: It has taught me to just keep trying at whatever I do. You may mess up because it gets to windy or it is raining like crazy, your pole is super slippery or you can’t catch that toss. But when you get down, you just got to pick your flag back up and just keep spinning.
GC: If there was one thing you wanted someone to know about color guard, what would it be?
SK: That it is more than just spinning a flag. A lot of people who have never spun before think our job out there is easy, but that is not the case. It takes a lot from our end in order to have a successful show.
GC: How have you grown within color guard?
SK: The guard was my first family when entering CMU. You have the worries that you won’t make any friends during your first couple weeks of college and I was fortunate enough to come into college and also have a relationship with my team. They have taught me so much not only skills-wise, but also people-wise. Everyone is so different and comes from different lifestyles, and it is so cool to watch us all mesh in perfect harmony.
GC: How is color guard a good representation of CMU pride?
SK: Not just the color guard, but the whole band represents CMU pride. We are commonly known as being the “spirit of the stadium”. We are usually the first at the field early in the morning in order to ensure that our show is ready to perform, and the last ones to leave as we celebrate a victorious win or a unfortunate loss of our football team. We are on our fields and cheering loud the whole entire game and I believe that is what CMU pride entails.