by Kelsey Eidson | Staff Writer
This winter, the Johnson Winterguard welcomed renowned choreographer Cedric Nicholson to its program. Widely known across the nation for his contributions to several programs, Nicholson relocated to San Antonio from Chicago, Illinois to gain better opportunities in teaching colorguard. He has been involved with Winterguard in the past and is familiar to many members.
“Cedric came down to help and choreograph for us last winter and again this past fall,” sophomore Megan Vance said. “I really enjoy when he comes down. The work he writes is always challenging so we always have something to look forward to.”
Now that he is closer, Nicholson will be more able to help the program grow in its ability.
“I can watch [the guard] progress year to year and season to season,” Nicholson said. “That way I can write harder things for [them] and know that [they] are going to get through it, so that’s nice.”
Previously, Nicholson coached the guard at Mary Ann Catholic High School in Chicago, Illinois. Their program is very successful and ranks at high levels in national championships. He also writes for Lake Center High School in St. John, Indiana, Hershey High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and two other guards in Florida.
“Cedric choreographs for so many other guards, it’s just really cool that he’s coming down to live by us,” junior Micaela Campbell said. “We’re all really excited to have Cedric moving down here. He’s a really good coach and a fun person to be around.”
Johnson Colorguard’s coach of three years, Darryl Pemberton, will still be teaching. Now, he and Nicholson can more easily collaborate.
“We think alike,” Pemberton said. “It’s always good to have chemistry with the person you are working with in order to develop a quality program. Cedric plays a huge part in designing our equipment book, which in order to compete at a high level, the choreography must have creative and challenging moments through out the show.”
The guard is currently scheduled to attend its first national competition in Dayton, Ohio. The combination of Nicholson and Pemberton’s creative minds will maximize its chances of making it to the finals.
“Going to Dayton is huge,” Vance said. “We are all so fortunate to have such good instructors that only want the best for us.”
Nicholson is also fond of his new students.
“I love [this guard],” Nicholson said. “[They’re] the best.”