First male joins Decatur High School Colorguard

Freshman Camden Hyde is the first male to join the Decatur High School (DHS) Colorguard. 

In his first year on the team, Hyde has become both a soloist and Colorguard leadership. As a soloist, he plays the role of James Bond in this year’s marching band show, “007”. 

Among more than 30 other Colorguard members, Hyde stands out as the only boy.

“It feels really special because it’s a big [responsibility],” Hyde said.

Since he stands out in comparison to the rest of the team, Hyde is grateful for the support he’s received from his peers.

“People in my grade, [who I’m not necessarily friends with], will still cheer me on like ‘Yes Cam!’ It’s something a lot of people know is a big [deal].”

Some may disapprove of his position within the marching band, however, Hyde hasn’t felt much backlash first hand due to his positive attitude.

“I think I’ve done a really good job at drowning out the negative. If there is [negativity], I don’t hear it,” Hyde said. 

His role as James Bond gives him an even greater responsibility in the marching band show. 

“Although there are other soloists in the show, my role as James Bond carries through the entire show. Even down to my costume [being] different, I always stand out, even when I try to blend in,” Hyde said. 

Hyde had to learn multiple difficult moves for his solo, including tossing a rifle in the air with it spinning six times.  He’s had to push himself, physically and mentally, for such a big role, Hyde says.

“Colorguard is amping it up and trying to be the best version ever. Our instructors really push us. It’s one of those things where in order to get better and be the best, you have to push yourself, but you also have to realize that [there’s] a point where it’s not good for you,” Hyde said, “I jammed two of my fingers [and] I hurt my toe… that’s when I realized, if I’m in pain and I’ve been pushing myself, I need to sit out, because there’s a difference between hurting and pushing yourself.”

Colorguard requires a lot of concentration and consistency that Hyde has had to become accustomed to.

“Colorguard is hard because it requires so much concentration, [when you’re] hitting all of [your dots on the field], under pressure, with tons of people watching you… while it’s hot, cold, or windy… that takes a lot of concentration. It’s one of those things where you have to account for those changes before they happen. If it’s windy, you have to push the other way so your [flag] toss doesn’t hit you. It strengthened my mind when dealing with stress and being under pressure,” Hyde said. 

Hyde started marching band in Grade 8, last year, as a clarinet, after his older brother and baritone section leader Brennan Hyde encouraged him to join.

Hyde performing with the band for their first official game.

“[Brennan] would talk about how fun [marching band] was… I really loved [playing and learning] new music, and I was really excited to have something that occupied my time. The second I started doing [marching band], I realized it was a really good choice and I didn’t want to quit,” Hyde said.

After the marching band season ended last year, Hyde signed up for the DHS Winterguard, a version of Colorguard that is indoors and without a marching band. 

Hyde decided that the next year, he would give up playing the clarinet with marching band to join the DHS Colorguard. 

This switch meant a lot of work for Hyde, but in the end he believes he adapted well.

“Obviously, it’s a different perspective because in marching band it’s very, “look the same, be in form, and fit in”. Colorguard [is] the same, but also different. Sometimes, you’re doing something by yourself and you have to make it look pretty and you have dance in a certain way. And other times, you have to blend in and look the same as anybody else. There are sometimes when we look fierce and we don’t smile, and when it speeds up again, we smile again,” Hyde said.

Overall, however, Hyde felt the changes were minimal.

“I thought [being in Colorguard] was going to be this whole new thing where people from marching band wouldn’t talk to the Colorguard, or people in the Colorguard were their own thing, [but] in actuality we’re one group,” Hyde said.