When are rehearsals?

The rehearsal schedule is set at the beginning of the season, but includes most Sundays in the season with a few full weekend practices for staging, choreography, and season preparation.

Where does Lake Area rehearse?

Like many independent groups, we rehearse where we can. While we are primarily based out of the Lake Charles area, we have rehearsed in areas throughout Southwest Louisiana, such as Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Westlake. While we set the rehearsal schedule at the beginning of the season, occasional adjustments can be made to accommodate members in Texas, Mississippi, and other parts of Louisiana.

Can I balance school/work and guard?

Absolutely! Like any extracurricular obligation, winter guard is a commitment and we have high expectations for our members. However, with proper time management, one can easily balance multiple priorities. We only rehearse and compete on weekends with the exception of possible regional competitions and WGI Championships. The season schedule is set in September so members have plenty of time to adjust their schedules. Active participation and attendance is expected of all members, but with proper time management skills there is no reason our members can’t excel on the floor as well as in the classroom/professional world.

How much does it cost?

We determine member tuition based on our expectations on the size of the group and the equipment needs for the group. For reference, our current tuition cost is $800 per person, however, this is paid in monthly or weekly installments throughout the season for easy management. Along with tuition, we have mandatory fundraising requirements to help fill the budget gap that tuition payments do not cover. We do our best to work with all members’ unique financial situations, but being a part of a winter guard comes with a financial obligation. Members are expected to adhere to this obligation and to communicate all unexpected issues to the Executive Director.

What other expenses are there?

Members are responsible for their own weapons (rifle and sabre), however, we provide all rehearsal and performance flags. Costumes are a part of tuition, but members may be responsible for their own make-up, hair products, and footwear (depending on the show requirements). Other miscellaneous costs will include food and travel costs for rehearsals and shows.

Are there out-of-state competitions?

Yes! Lake Area Independent is a member of the Louisiana-Mississippi Color Guard and Percussion Circuit so most of our competitions will be in Louisiana, but we attend regionals along the gulf coast region as well as WGI Championships in Dayton, OH.

How long is the season?

The season begins with auditions in late September and goes through WGI Championships in April. While we do not meet as a team during the summer months, we try to hold educational events and opportunities for high school and college students to help our local performers.