Blue Devils Special Needs Guard Performing At 2015 California Circuit Championships
The world renowned Blue Devils of Concord, one of only a handful of special needs color guard groups in the nation, will be performing at the California Circuit Championships on Saturday, March 28th at Independence High School in San Jose, California. Over fifty color guard units from various areas of California will be competing at this event but the Blue Devils Special Needs Color Guard are in a league of their own.
These youth refuse to let physical or developmental disabilities stand in the way of their passion for performance in the marching and color guard arts. At last year’s California Circuit Championship the group received the only standing ovation, from a crowd of 4,000. “It was the perfect ending to a spectacular day of performances with many in the audience brought to tears upon seeing the excitement and pure joy in this groups faces. That alone was worth the price of Admission” said Liz Lamach (volunteer instructor). The performances give these dedicated youth a chance to feel good about themselves and their hard work. Blue Devil member, Spencer Trevarthen, said “Last year when we performed, I felt like a rock star and this year will be even better!”
The Blue Devils will be performing a variety of moves to music along with the spinning of equipment such as flags. They have been practicing weekly for the last six months to make this performance something everyone will enjoy and remember long after the last flag is waved.
Annette Odello had the idea for the special needs guard in 2011, and solicited the support of her cousin, Liz Lamach, who was instrumental in establishing Matteo’s Dream, a playground for children of ALL abilities in Concord, which is named after her son, Matteo Henderson. This is the guards fourth season of performing.
Liz appreciates her cousin’s instructional approach that is minus any condescension. The choreography challenges youth to use their muscles differently, to learn to work together as a team and to communicate. “In other words, she hasn’t changed her style of teaching for this guard. She expects the best they have to offer and pushes them to achieve it. As a parent of a special needs child, this is extremely important to me” said Lamach.
For Annette, who has been all over the world teaching spinning, the sight of the special needs color guard lighting up and moving the audience the way they do, is a real motivator for all of the hard work and one-on-one attention she, and all the volunteer instructors, give each year.
The program is provided free of charge and is open to all special needs youth ages 12 to 25. It provides them with the opportunity to express themselves through traditional – and not so traditional – color guard routines and pageantry.
For more information please call Annette and/or visit the Blue Devils website at: http://bluedevils.org/programs/wg/2014/special-needs.php
Blue Devils Special Needs Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/581290848674136/
Please join us to see the kids prepare for their performance (in the final practice this year) and get their group/individual photos taken this Monday, March 23rd from 7-8PM at:
Martinez Jr. high
Haven and Court St.
7:00PM – 8:00PM
Take Pacheco St exit from Hwy 680. Stay on Pacheco for about 1.5 miles.
Turn left at Haven St. (Boscoz’s burger stand on the corner).
Haven St. ends in two blocks at school driveway. Follow parking lot all the way to the left to Gym building. We are either in the front gym or the one directly behind it.