News at Mason
Mason Winter Guard takes home the gold
May 28, 2019 / by Mary Lee Clark
Evy Maurojorge said the only word to describe this season of Mason Open Winter Guard is “magical.” The team’s ability to bond as a family, paired with each individual member’s work ethic, made their final performance of the season look effortless and elegant.
"When you get to know each other, that's what makes it worth fighting through the long rehearsals when you're tired and you're stressed," said Maurojorge, a senior in the School of Integrative Studies.
Mason Open Winter Guard at George Mason University not only came in first place in the Winter Guard International (WGI) World Championship with a score of 99.0, but also earned the sixth highest score in the history of WGI.
Mason Open is part of George Mason University’s Green Machine Ensembles and uses flags, replica rifles, sabers, movement and dance in an elaborate, theatrical experience. The Mason team has 30 members and competes all over the country, from January to April, ending at the WGI finals in Dayton, Ohio.
Maurojorge’s interest in gymnastics and dance drew her to winter guard, and she has been performing with Mason since she transferred two years ago.
She met Lindell Palmer, the director of Mason Open, when he was an independent team coach at Stonewall Jackson High School in 2012. Palmer has been coaching at Mason for two years but has been coaching and teaching winter guard for about 20 years.
“In the short time Lindell has been with the Green Machine Ensembles, he has been able to accelerate the success of the program so much,” said Green Machine Ensembles director Michael Nickens, also known as Doc Nix. “He is a pleasure to work with and brings his positive energy to everything he does with us.”
Palmer said winter guard is a combination of dance and theater. This year, he created a routine that showed off Mason Open’s ability and athleticism. The team’s level of professionalism, said Palmer, both on and off the floor, makes it possible to take his artistic vision and bring it to life.
"They balance school and jobs, and they teach themselves, but they still find time to grow and make themselves better,” said Palmer. “That is part of the success—the dedication and the hard work.”