Rocky Mountain Color Guard Association
Since it’s conception in 1972, the Rocky Mountain Color Guard Association has continued to grow to engage more and more in the sport of Color Guard. In conjunction with WGI, DCI, Colorado Bandmasters Association, and Ascend Preforming Arts, they have sought to foster creativity and a level of excellence to all performers, coaches, parents and staff.
Board of Directors
Katie got her start in the activity marching with Legacy High School. She continued to perform after high school with Opus X, Blue Knights and Oracle Performance ensemble. Katie graduated from CU Denver with a BS in Chemistry but decided the arts were her passion. Katie has been teaching color guard and dance to various groups in Colorado for the past 17 years. She is excited to help grow the circuit!
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Vice President/Director of Training:
Kayla has been involved in the pageantry arts as a performer, educator, and enthusiast for her entire life. Her parents having met in the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, she was raised in the world of the marching arts. Kayla spent 12 years as a DCI performer and performed in the RMCGA circuit for 17 years. Kayla has worked with a variety of independent groups as well as teaching at many clinics across the country. She is now an educator of various scholastic groups in RMCGA as well as a chemist for the EPA. Her passion lies with community outreach; giving back to the activity and the circuit that gave her so much.
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Director of Finance:
Danniell entered the marching band/winter guard community in 2001 as a freshman at Arvada High School in Arvada, CO. After high school; he marched one season of The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle corps in 2004. In 2008 he re-entered the community as a teacher of several scholastic programs and an independent winter guard while performing with the Independent Open/World winter guard, Opus X(2009-10, & 2013). Danniell has been a member of the RMCGA board for several years and is currently training to become a new judge in the RMCGA winter guard circuit. 2022 marks Danniell’s twenty-first year since he joined this fantastic community, and he can’t wait to see every group back out on the floor after the craziness of the COVID pandemic.
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Kendra has been involved with RMCGA since she was 14 years old as a performer for 7 years and on the contest staff for the rest of the time. She took a few years off in the middle of this time and didn’t know what to do with herself, so she came back! She is also a Contest Administrator for WGI so if you don’t see her at a contest, she is probably traveling to some exciting place (like KC).
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As a marching member, instructor, consultant, judge, and color guard director, William Chumley has committed over 42 years to the pageantry arts, where his various roles have included: serving on the Board of Directors for the Rocky Mountain Color Guard Association for 30 years; judging worldwide for Drum Corps United Kingdom, Drum Corps Japan, Color Guard Netherlands, Winter Guard International, Bands of America, and Drum Corps International for over 29 years; and training, mentoring, and scheduling judges as president of the Rocky Mountain Judges’ Association. William trains judges and instructors around the world. As a color guard director and instructor, William has created World Championship teams, established fully functioning non-profit arts organizations, and has consulted and taught in both high school and independent settings. His passion for success along with creating a collaborative environment are trademarks. William is caption manager for Design Analysis and General Effect.
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Members at Large
Mark Keating has been involved in the RMCGA circuit since 1997. He has been coaching since 2002. He has marched and danced with several groups throughout the years and can’t seem to shake the Passion for the sport, so here he is!
Geoff is a visual designer, program coordinator and in-demand choreographer for numerous programs within the state and around the country such as The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, Eastlake High School, Dawson High School, and Rampart High School. His performance background is extensive and multi-faceted, ranging from live stage productions to television and film opportunities. Along with keeping a part time job, and in between attending rehearsals, Geoff is currently back in school studying graphic design, continually expanding his knowledge and desire to be creative as an artist. Along with the love to travel, Geoff enjoys spending his free time with his partner, Austin, his family, his close friends, and his dogs Simon and Rocky.
Liz has been involved in the marching arts since 1994 and has worked with several organizations around the state. She is looking forward to sharing her passion for this activity and her graphic design background with RMCGA as the marketing and social media coordinator.
DJ began his color guard career in middle school at the age of 13 in 2003. He graduated from Pomona High School in 2008 where he participated in the color guard. After high school he continued performing in local independent groups such as Alchemy Independent, Signature and Malachi Independent. In the summer of 2009 he marched with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. Since then he has performed at a world class level at WGI Finals with Opus 10 from Denver Colorado and Cypress Independent from Houston, Texas. Teaching has always been a passion for him. He began teaching in 2009, since then he has had the privilege of spreading his love for this activity to places like: Colorado, Texas and California, currently he is the director at Douglas County High School from Castle Rock, Colorado, Horizon High School from Thronton, Colorado and helps with Anesidora Winter Guard. DJ believes wholeheartedly that this activity is based around personal growth and should be a positive learning environment that is both challenging and supportive.
In the fall of 1972 the Continental Divide Color Guard Circuit (CDCGC) was formed to promote color guard contests in the Rocky Mountain area. Spearheaded by Lee Carlson, the first contests were held in the winter of 1973. (Lee is now a Winter Guard International adjudicator, and member of the board for the Winter Guard Association of Southern California.)
That first year, CDCGC had three contests – all in one weekend! There were no local judges; so five judges from the Midwest were brought in. That meant airfare plus judging fees, so the cost was split between all three shows. CDCGC was off and running.
In 1974 there were 11 guards, and more contests. The growing begins.
In 1978 Earl and Cindy Carlheim moved to Colorado and new guards were formed with new instructors and with staff from guards no longer active. CDCGC had 9 guards in the 1979 season. The Carlheim’s inspired everyone with their energy and optimism, and spurred everyone into renewed effort. (Earl’s unit “Nova” still competes in the Colorado events!)
At the end of the 10th year there were 16 competitive units including some from Kansas, Wyoming and Pueblo.
In the late 80s, new instructors and units continued to propel the association. “Silver Boots” from Aurora Central High School and “A Touch of Class” from Smoky Hill High School led the way for the new high schools. “Nova” and “Speakeasy” challenged the independents to improve and to achieve.
Each year, members of the circuit have improved both locally and nationally. In 1990 Jinx made Winter Guard International Championship Finals, marking the first year a Colorado guard made finals. Since then, more groups have made finals including the 1st place finish in 1994 by Pomona High School, winning the gold medal in Scholastic Open. Pomona repeated that honor in 1999 with a record setting score for Scholastic Open. Pomona has been a consistent Scholastic World Class finalist ever since.
Oracle Winter Guard brought a new musicality and visual interpretation to the Colorado scene in 1998. Oracle consistently made WGI Championship Finals, and won the gold medal for Independent Open Class in 2002. Oracle solidly moved into the Independent World competition in 2003 finishing in 9th place.
Each year, Colorado sends one quarter of its membership to the WGI World Championship competitions. In 2001, 11 units made semifinals, and 7 units were finalists! The quality continues to excel with groups like Signature Color Guard, which has been around since 1993!
1997 was the 25th Anniversary of the circuit. In honor of this, the name was changed to the Rocky Mountain Color Guard Association. Select contests were combined with the Rocky Mountain Percussion Association including the Championship at the CU Event Center in Boulder.
RMCGA continues to grow both in numbers and talent. As people age out, they are becoming instructors or creating new color guards. RMCGA members have become consistent finalists at WGI Championships
The number of Units at selected Championship contests:
1981 – 11
1983 – 13
1987 – 10
1990 – 7
1999 – 29
2000 – 27
2001 – 31
2002 – 36 – 30th Anniversary season
2022 – 50 – 50th Anniversary season