As for many of us now involved in winter guard, Nicola Garlick started her colour guard career through involvement with her local marching band/drum corps “Manor Militaries, Star Marching Band, Jordanaires and Concord” initially as a guard member before moving into teaching and designing. From those early days in the mid 80’s moving into the 90’s and beyond, Nicola had the vision and determination as a performer, instructor and designer to embrace continual educational development in relation to equipment, movement and design learning from and working with recognised international designers and educators from both DCI & WGI to develop and implement a strong educational program for the units she worked with the UK.
Her list of achievements through being and educator and director of championship winning programs is well known combined with her tireless energy and support for developing many young performers, instructors and designers within the specialised art of colour guard in producing creative and innovative productions.
Over the past 20 years, Nicola has been a constant pillar of our colour guard community as director of both Forgemen Winter Guard and Northern Academy (NAPA) overseeing units at all levels of competition but also in her support for the activity as a WGUK board member, holding the roles of both Deputy Chair and most recently Chair (a position she held for six years) in which she has :-
Overseen our annual showcase event as Championships Director from 2014 until 2019, worked at all WGUK sanctioned events on guard reception or as an arena marshal to name but a few of the roles and tasks undertaken, played a vital and key role in sustaining and expanding our relationship and partnership working with other National and International Organisations, supported new organisations into our activity and had the passion to share her knowledge and experience to support our activity.
The Hall of Fame Committee are proud to recognise Nicola for her remarkable commitment to the Winter Guard Activity within the United Kingdom and induct her into the Hall of Fame.
Dave Barham is now approaching a quarter of a century of involvement with Winter Guard in the UK.
Dave has contributed to the creative side of Winter Guard, first as a staff member, then as a show designer, and most recently as Guard Director of both Southern Knights Junior and A Class. Over the course of 15 seasons, Dave staged 25 shows across all classes at the time, with an unparalleled record of competitive success – one European title, 11 WGUK gold medal winning shows and 9 other medal placings. In terms of artistic standards and contribution to the advancement of Winter Guard as a creative force, there can be few designers who have had a more successful contribution to the activity. His unique visual style, including creative use of floors and costumes, multi-layered music choices, complex staging and challenging themes proved popular with members, audiences and judges alike. Along the way, Dave worked with and positively influenced numerous other staff members, many of whom continue to teach in the activity today.
A familiar face on the WGUK circuit, for many years Dave has assisted at shows across the country; often helping other units on floor crew duty, organising retreats, setting up at Worcester finals into the small hours and supporting contest referees. For three seasons, Dave acted as a Judging “Mentor” providing comprehensive feedback for Cadet and Junior guards from all other organisations as part of that WGUK initiative.
In 2012, Dave was first elected as a WGUK Board member. In the following years, he has helped to administer the activity alongside his fellow Board members, and has introduced or helped implement many of the improvements that the activity benefits from today.
Finally, Dave was also elected as WGUK Deputy Chair in 2015, a position he still holds, supporting both the WGUK and MPAUK Chairs with their duties throughout the season.
The Hall of Fame Committee are proud to recognise Dave for his artistic, administrative and leadership roles over almost 25 years in Winter Guard and induct him into the Hall of Fame.
ROB DA COSTA
Throughout the last four decades Robert Da Costa (better known as Rob) has been at the forefront of developing and supporting change, introducing advances that have shaped the Winter Guard Activity into what we see today.
From his early beginnings, pulling together a few fellow drum corps friends and putting a Winter Guard into competition in just 3 weeks back in 1980, Rob’s enthusiasm and commitment have been unwavering and constantly striving to new heights.
Due to his Father’s job, Rob spent many of his teen years moving around the country and, where a Winter Guard existed, Rob would inject fresh dynamism as a performer or instructor. If the group had no Winter Guard he would introduce them to it, and where there was no group he started one.
As a performer, instructor and designer, Rob always strove to set the highest standards, producing an instructional video which was distributed throughout the UK and Europe. Many groups and individuals have benefitted from Robert’s experience, expertise and enthusiasm over the years within the UK and across the Atlantic (including between 1989 and 1991 working with a Californian High School Guard who achieved 3rd Place in the WGI Scholastic A Class in 1991), certainly his contribution to those groups will still be fondly remembered by all the individuals with whom he connected and inspired to reach their potential.
Throughout this extraordinary colour guard career, Rob has assumed all roles; as performer, designer, instructor, guard founder–director, judge, and judging education director for WGUK, all of which he has always executed with utmost commitment and professionalism to benefit the UK Winter Guard Activity.
Rob has either led or supported Mayflower to WGI (2019 marks Mayflower’s 21st year of travelling to the World Championships – 1998 being their first year), persevering to eventually make World Class Finals. This in turn has spurred and developed the UK activity forward, seeing the introduction of a World Class within WGUK in 2013.
No other person this side of the Atlantic has done more to really put the word ‘International’ into Winter Guard International more so than Rob combined with his passion and commitment to the on-going educational and professional development of educators and performers within Winter Guard United Kingdom.
The Hall of Fame Committee are proud to recognise Rob for his tremendous and remarkable commitment to the Winter Guard Activity within the United Kingdom, especially on this our 40th Championships Anniversary and induct him into the Hall of Fame.
Mark’s involvement and passion for the marching and performing arts spans more than four decades through his involvement with Avengers Performing Arts (previously The Blue Avengers Drum & Bugle Corps) as a marching member, instructor, director and chair.
The Blue Avengers / Avengers Drum & Bugle Corps competed for many years in both BYBA & DCUK as well as fielding competitive units in Winter Guard from the mid 80’s onwards when the national circuit was part of and governed by the DCUK Board.
Over the years Mark has led or been part of various “Task Forces and Working Groups” within DCUK to support the development of the Winter Guard, he was recognised in 1997 for his contribution to the activity by becoming a member of the DCUK Fellowship.
Upon the formation of the WGUK Board, Mark has held two key roles over the years as the initial Vice Chair before being elected as the WGUK Chair combined with undertaking key roles as a Trustee and senior officer within MPAUK as Vice Chair and recently as Treasurer which he holds today.
Throughout the years Mark has been a major driving force behind the activity at all levels, operational and strategic supporting the development and sustainability of new and existing units, educators and young people throughout the United Kingdom.
Whilst committed to both WGUK and MPAUK, Mark is the Chairman of the Avengers Performing Arts, working with his trustees and staff to grow the organisation to what it is today, that fields three competitive units within Cadet, Junior & “A” Class. He remains a champion of young people supporting a positive inclusive ethos and approach, retaining contact with many of these former members, as their children are now becoming part of the Avengers family.
The Hall of Fame Committee are proud to recognise Mark for his remarkable commitment to the Winter Guard Activity within the United Kingdom, especially on this our 40th Championships Anniversary and induct him into the Hall of Fame.
For more than 40 years Martin has been involved within the marching and performing arts, with the majority of those years being directly involved within the Winter Guard Activity as a performer, instructor, designer, director, judge, judging co-ordinator and a member of the WGUK Board.
His love and passion for driving the WGUK environment forward has seen him introduce legislation recommendations for the benefit of all organisations taking part even ahead of WGI, who have latterly adopted similar approaches, such as “The introduction of the pre-show element to programs”.
In the mid 80’s Martin embarked upon his involvement with the Winter Guard Activity, fielding his first Winter Guard Unit in 1988 under the name of “Guarde Nouveau” resulting in them being crowned British A Class Champions.
Martin was a proud marching member of Trilogy Guard in 1991, teaching weapons in 1992 securing two back to back Bronze Medals in Open Class and was selected to be an integral part of the Winter Guard Working Party in 1993 whose efforts eventually lead to the WGUK Board being established some years later. During this period Martin formed another Winter Guard, Liberty Colour Guard, and drove the design stages and the teaching staff through four years of successful achievement including a Bronze in Open Class in 1997.
Martin’s expertise and passion for WGUK lead him right into the Judging seat, where he flourished on Equipment and in within Design Analysis, during this time he was also employed to teach dance at the Jill Clewes Dance School, a skill that he continues to this day to put back into the activity and for each generation that emerges.
Over the years Martin has been integral in developing the judging community within the United Kingdom serving for a number of years as Judging Co-ordinator as well as being an active member of the WGUK Board.
There are countless additions and improvements to the WGUK environment that Martin has been influential in pushing forward and is one of the very few individuals accredited in all judging captions at all competitive levels.
Martin’s passion for educational and performance development has seen him work with units, educators and performers throughout the UK.
From 2009, he has been part of Avengers Performing Arts, developing the educational growth of the organisation, its educators and performers, designing competitive programs for their units for the past ten years.
The Hall of Fame Committee are proud to recognise Martin for his remarkable commitment to the Winter Guard Activity within the United Kingdom, especially on this our 40th Championships Anniversary and induct him into the Hall of Fame.
For nearly 30 years Tony has been involved within the marching and performing arts, with the majority of those years being directly involved within the Winter Guard Activity as a performer, instructor, designer, director and judge.
Tony started his colour guard career through involvement with his local marching band/drum corps “The Anchormen Drum & Bugle Corps” initially as a brass player before moving onto guard. From those early days in the 90’s, Tony had the vision and determination as a performer, instructor and designer to embrace continual educational development in relation to equipment, movement and design learning from and working with recognised international designers and educators from both DCI & WGI to develop and implement a strong educational program for the units, educators and performers that he worked with in both the UK and Ireland.
His list of achievements in regard to designing championship winning programs is well known combined with his tireless energy and support for developing many young performers, instructors and designers within the specialised art of colour guard in producing creative and innovative productions.
Over the years, Tony has been a constant pillar of our colour guard community working with many units at all level of competition as an instructor, designer, director and judge within UK & Europe, always there to provide a welcomed and valued opinion and willingness to share his knowledge and experience.
The Hall of Fame Committee are proud to recognise Tony for his remarkable commitment to the Winter Guard Activity within the United Kingdom, especially on this our 40th Championships Anniversary and induct him into the Hall of Fame.
VERONICA “RON” HOPE
Ron’s involvement with the marching and performing arts spans more than three decades her involvement began with the Mayflower organisation where her children became members and she rapidly became involved and elected as the chairperson.
Mayflower Winterguard competed in the national circuit from the mid 80’s when the national winterguard circuit was part of and governed by the DCUK board.
When WGUK was formed and Ron joined the WGUK Board to promote and build an independent UK winterguard circuit, Ron held the position of WGUK Chairperson alongside Deputy Chair Mark Gutteridge for a number of years. Ron was a dedicated member of the board and was often seen at major events on the organising team.
Whilst Ron committed time to WGUK, she also continued to grow Mayflower Winterguard, introducing Cadets, Junior, A and Open class groups to the organisation. In the mid 90’s, Ron approached Robert DaCosta to join Mayflower and further evolve the Open class group. It was from here that the Mayflower senior guard started to compete at the WGI Championships, U.S.A, this further provided exciting and rewarding opportunities for both members and staff. Ron continues to encourage the Senior guard’s return to the world stage, this has provided over 200 members with the experience of WGI, furthermore members have progressed from Mayflower Cadets through to Mayflower World, this continues to be Ron’s aim.
In addition to the U.S.A circuit, Ron has taken Mayflower Winterguard to Ireland, France & The Netherlands. Throughout her time and travels in winterguard, she is today considered one of the most committed and dedicated leaders in UK winterguard. Mayflower is indebted to her; from driving the equipment van to sewing flags, fixing costumes, arranging Committee meetings, finalising transport requirements and hosting the annual awards evening, Ron is truly the backbone of Mayflower.
In Ron’s own words ‘just doing something I love for both WGUK and of course Mayflower, with Mayflower I just want to support young people to develop the skill of colour guard and maintain an inclusive activity for these young people to enjoy. To see our members come through our feeder system to eventually stand in front of new young members as instructors is so rewarding.
Ron has committed over 30 years to Mayflower & WGUK; and fully deserves deserves the recognition from our activity of becoming a member of the “WGUK Hall of Fame” for her endless commitment to the youth of this country.
Ken is the epitome of positive influences across all areas of the WGUK environment whether that be through his show designs, many of which have been of championship winning standards at all levels; through his teaching of not only his own units but many other organisations across a wide spectrum of ability within the WGUK sphere, or even his love of developing young talent into fully blown instructors and leaders in their own right who then carry the next generation of WGUK member to chase their own goals. The influence that Ken has shared has had an incredibly positive effect on literally hundreds, possibly thousands of youngsters over a 45 year career in the marching and performing arts arenas with almost 30 of those supporting the WGUK circuit.
Ken continues to influence the next generation through his judging efforts and there is no doubt that he is one of the most highly respected individuals on the UK scene. He has on a number of occasions flown the WGUK flag high and proud by showcasing just what WGUK units are all about in Ireland, Continental Europe and at the WGI World Championships, making a number of very good friends along the way and generating positive interest from around the globe on all that WGUK has to offer.
During more than three decades Ken has worked with at least eight different units where he has both delivered quality winter guard productions but also helped to develop both performers and instructors along the way.
The Hall of Fame awarding committee is proud to recognise Ken Mansfield and induct him into the Hall of Fame.
Alan’s dedication in the activity spans decades. He is Chairman of Southern Knights Performing Arts, an organisation that he has built and which is in its 29th year. His involvement is year-round and often requires him to be away from his family. You will see Alan at almost anything related to the activity, always with a positive attitude, whether it be fund raising, community events, rehearsal, board meetings, the list goes on and on.
He continually evaluates each guard throughout the season to ensure all is running smoothly. His motivation with Southern Knights, as well as all WGUK, is to ensure that members develop confidence and a strong work ethic that will allow them to be successful as adults. This philosophy is in conjunction with his support of the social aspect of the activity, to have a good time as performers as well as building life-long friends as well as individuals that will continue to be involved in the activity through volunteering, teaching and judging.
As Chairman of MPAUK for 11 years, he was instrumental in its creation in 2006 that allowed winter guard organisations to be classed as members of the charity. Prior to the formation of MPAUK, Alan held the role of WGUK Chairman and Trustee. He also serves as the international representative for WGUK, interacting with CGN and/WGI to foster and maintain relationships that help to provide consistency across the activity. Alan’s involvement in the winter guard activity started with his involvement in DCUK, of which he was a member. He has dedicated his life to the activity, meeting his wife in drum corps and supporting both of his daughters as they grew up with WGUK.
As a true leader, Alan remains focused on goals of WGUK, always maintaining a strategic view of the activity. He is equally tactical, whether attending meetings, sorting out venues, setting up and breaking down events or entertaining everyone from behind the microphone. His dedication and longevity going on 30 years in the activity has made him one of the supporting pillars of the organisation.
Alan is, and has been for many years, the public face, voice and driving force behind the UK activity. He has throughout the years spent huge amounts of time and energy developing WGUK, MPA-UK and its predecessors.
The Hall of Fame awarding committee recognise that no one is more deserving of entry into the Hall of Fame than Alan Thompson.
Starting from the early 1980’s, Ian was one of the first males to march Winter Guard and to encourage other young boys and men to do the same. From “New Wave Drum & Bugle Corps” through “Limited Edition”, “Free Spirit”, “Poynton Commodores” and then onto “Northern Academy”, he has been innovative in his designs and was one of the first people to put out a show that used voices rather than just music. His first championship first place was with Warrington in 1990, he took NAPA to two WGI championships and he has also taught and written for the German Colour Guard “Star Riders”.
What sets him aside is the way in which he is totally happy teaching rookie five year olds as well as experienced World class members. He adapts his teaching and his ideas to suit the group. If a member is struggling with technique he will spend hours teaching that member until they are confident.
He understands that Winter Guard needs to get new young people into the activity as well as to push our experienced people to new and exciting limits. He values all members at both end of the spectrum. “Kirky” continues to visit many guards on a regular basis to help create, design and teach. He was also a valued member of the judging team for many years.
In addition to his teaching, design and mentoring he has always appreciated the work of volunteers and had been known to roll his sleeves up in the kitchen or to iron flags in the small hours prior to finals. He has been incredibly generous with his time and money and rarely travels without filling his car with members who need lifts. Throughout all of this he remains a great character with exceptional integrity and truly inspiring work. His contribution to this activity is immeasurable!
Within minutes of speaking to Ian, it becomes clear that this is a man who puts his heart and soul into an activity that he has loved for many years. His enthusiasm and passion, coupled with his years of knowledge and expertise wash over you and carry you along and all the while you’re just hoping that some of that talent and ability may rub off on you. His creative soul or his “pixies” are legendary and he is always looking for new and innovative ideas to push the art form forwards.
Over the past 30 years, Ian has been a constant pillar of our colour guard community working with many units at all level of competition as an instructor, designer, director and judge both within the summer and winter circuits, always there to provide a welcomed and valued opinion and willingness to share his knowledge and experience with all.
The UK has had the pleasure of producing some very talented individuals and Ian Kirk is one of those people who deserves the recognition from our activity of becoming a member of the “WGUK Hall of Fame” for his endless commitment to the youth of this country.