About: Mission Statement & Guiding Principles

The Winter Guard Arizona is a non-profit educational organization that exists to further the development of percussion performance skills among high school-age musicians, working through established high school music programs, or their independent equivalents.

• WGAZ’s operational strategy is the collective development of its student groups through the conduct of indoor marching percussion performance competitions for member groups, educational symposiums, percussion ensemble festivals, and other activities deemed fit in keeping with the organization’s mission.

• Competition is an inherent part of the WGAZ mission; however, it is seen only as a means to the end of further skill development for the student groups. Education is the overriding objective of all WGAZ activities and will govern WGAZ’s competitive activities.

• WGAZ exists to serve and develop its member high school percussion programs, regardless of their existing levels of experience or skill. WGAZ will strive to serve all its member groups equally and fairly without regard to performance levels, experience, artistic approach, or location.

• While WGAZ’s primary operational vehicle is the conduct of marching percussion performance competitions for member groups, it is recognized that marching percussion is only one facet of a complete scholastic percussion program. WGAZ will strive to present the marching percussion idiom in the context of total percussion skill development. WGAZ will regularly present educational opportunities for its members outside the boundaries of marching percussion, such as percussion ensemble festivals, symposiums, etc.

• The modern indoor marching percussion idiom is characterized by pageantry and visual performance elements. While acknowledging the importance of these elements, WGAZ will emphasize, in its competitive and educational activities, the musical elements of marching percussion.

• WGAZ’s adjudication systems exist to support the educational orientation of the WGAZ competitive activities. As such, those systems must address the educational needs of the competing groups in addition to providing fair and objective competitive evaluations.

• WGAZ expects only the highest integrity, sportsmanship, and ethical conduct from all its constituencies, including students, instructors, directors, adjudicators and administrators.

• WGAZ must operate on a fiscally sound basis in order to provide a sustained service to its member groups. WGAZ will operate on a balanced-budget basis each year.