At first I was a little shocked that a company wanted me to pay $15 for a book of swatches. Yes, you get a $25 coupon towards your next purchase of show flags, but I had never heard of a company charging for a swatch book.
Once I got home, I spoke with a few other guard instructors to see if they liked the color kit. They told me it was well worth the $15 price, so I decided to take a chance and buy it. When the swatch book arrived, it was easy to see what everyone loved so much!
One of the best features about the McCormick’s Designer’s Color Kit is the fabric swatches are movable with the color written on the back, so you can easily figure out where each one goes when you are done. There is a color wheel that explains what emotions the different colors portray with a short explanation of different color schemes. There is also built-in space to lay your swatches side by side which helps to see your color choices together.
I was in heaven! I immediately set out to find the colors I wanted to use for our fall show.
A TEACHABLE MOMENT
One day last spring we were having one of those rehearsals where we just weren’t making a lot of progress. So, I decided to pull out the color kit and let the girls help me decide what flags and colors to use for our marching band show this year.
I started by taking the color wheel from the swatch book and explaining what feelings the different colors portray. We then listened to the show music (both the original and the arrangement for our show) one song at a time. After each song we stopped and talked about the different emotions they thought the song was portraying and what color would go with that emotion. We also talked about the different color schemes (monochromatic, complementary, etc) and which ones might fit with each song.
After deciding what colors we wanted to use, I brought out the various catalogs that I had. I showed them some of the flags that I was looking at for each song. The girls and I talked about what feelings the different flags evoked and ultimately decided on what flags we would use for the show.
Finally, we took the different colors we had chosen and put them together with the flag designs we liked. The performers loved being able to take the swatches and lay them over the pictures of the flags in the catalog. This really helped us to visualize what the flags would look like.
Sharing the process of picking out flags and colors with my guard was new to me. But I believe that my girls have a greater ownership of the show and understanding of the concept this year because of what they learned. Their involvement in the process has given them a sense of pride and responsibility. They feel great knowing that they were part of such an important decision. I feel great knowing that I could include them in the show planning and teach them about color in the process!
Photos courtesy of McCormick’s Enterprises . Thanks McCormicks!
About the Author (Author Profile)
Rosemarie Heite Molinary is the color guard director at Raceland-Worthington High School in Raceland, KY where she leads both a fall and winter colorguard program and she is also a member of the CGE Editorial Advisory Board. As a third-year instructor she brings a fresh perspective to the editorial team providing insight into the daily struggles and successes of the beginner coach. She also sets an example that even those instructors in their first few years of teaching have a great deal of daily experience they can share!