Colorguard Historical Society


Zydeco Colorguard

Location: Dayton, Ohio
Members: 5
Latest Activity: Jul 10, 2008

Zydeco history unfolds...

Zydeco Announces Their Inactive Status

2014 Zydeco Announces Their Inactive Status April 30, 2014 Back to News ShareThis From a Zydeco press release Byron Valentine, executive director of Zydeco states, “The decision to have Zydeco go inactive was not an easy choice to make. In fact, it was one of the most difficult, emotionally-challenging decisions we were faced with, and is something we've been discussing for more than a year. We chose the term “inactive” as other words have too severe a tone of finality to them. The administrative board and I are committed to not fielding a unit in 2015, and believe a longer hiatus may serve the organization well, however no one can predict what the future holds. I truly hope that somehow, some way, Zydeco will be back – bigger, bolder, and better than ever – in the future. For now, we are taking a break from the activity and focusing on new projects. In our seven-year competitive existence we have fielded nine winter colorguards: one Independent A team (2013), two Independent Open teams (2007 & 2011), and six Independent World teams (2008-2009, 2011-2014), with every team achieving finalist status at WGI World Championships, and being a World Class Fan’s Favorite in 2011. It has been a whirlwind of a ride; none of us were prepared for what Zydeco Colorguard would become when we first met to discuss starting a relaxed, local independent colorguard. We were simply a group of friends that wanted to have fun while trying our own thing…and that thing quickly evolved into something pretty spectacular. We are proud to have left a small thumbprint on the activity and hope to return one day with more stories to tell. To our beautiful friends, fans and supporters: we thank you for everything. We did what we do for you. To our staff, past and present: our gratitude is forever. Thank you for your time, talents, and for helping to mold and shape Zydeco into the colorguard that we are today. To the core that have been with us since day one: there is beauty in finding a team that you can place blind faith and trust into, and would be unwilling to work without. Thank you for becoming the founding mothers and fathers of Zydeco, and keeping our values and traditions alive. To our members: you will be imprinted on our hearts forever. You are Zydeco. Thank you for spending a season, or two, or three, or even four with us! The stories we've shared, the experiences we've gone through, the blood, sweat, tears, and laughter: we hope it was worth it. Whether you were an inaugural mime, paying tribute to a tragedy, a glittery storm-maker, a bad guy, a zombie, a tin man, a ghost, a mama or papa, or living the hard life in the dust bowl: you were a special part of us. You will always have a family with Zydeco...we’ll stand by you. We won’t say goodbye, we’ll simply say farewell for a while. Best of luck to all competing units in 2015; keep following the yellow brick road


Zydeco “World” will be performing locally in the Tri-State Circuit and Mid-East Performance Association, as well as nationally at the WGI Dayton Regional, Mid-South Colorguard Championship and World Championships.

Zydeco was founded in 2007 and is under the direction of Byron Valentine with assistance from Lynsey Tyson and Patricia Simmons. The 2011 design team includes Joe Sowders, Michael Townsend, Juan “JC” Caceres and Richard Hinshaw. Additional staff and tour information may be found on our website:

Remember: the bad guys always have more fun…come and unleash your inner villain with us this season!





Zydeco Colorguard (Dayton, OH) regretfully announces their inactive status for the 2010 season.

The decision for Zydeco to take a season off was not an easy one to make; however the director and administrative board felt it necessary to ensure the long-term vitality of the organization. They believe this decision best serves the interests of Zydeco at the present time; and all involved are committed to Zydeco’s return to the competitive arena in 2011.

Byron Valentine, director of Zydeco says: “our growth over the past three seasons has been pretty tremendous. No one on the administrative staff - especially myself - were prepared to be where we are competitively when the decision to field a unit was made back in 2007. We honestly just need a year to evaluate, make sure that we are able to keep doing what we're doing (financially) and most importantly - ensure the best decisions are being made to keep Zydeco running successfully for the long term. This includes problem-solving the financial strains that have been placed on us by being in the Independent World class as a fairly novice unit. Like many other units, we are not sponsored by a drum corps, bingo hall, or individuals with deep pockets. In the current economic climate we have found ourselves pushed to the limit when it comes to financing the colorguard. Taking a year off will allow us the necessary time to research answers to this problem; as well as take in a much needed breath from the amazing whirlwind the past three seasons have been.

I, along with Zydeco’s administrative staff and design team thank everyone for their support. We look forward to coming back out in full swing and providing another unique, energetic and compelling production in 2011!”

Thanks for your support and everything else. You are the best...see you in the stands!

2009 Show

Zydeco Brings the Thunder

Zydeco Colorguard from Dayton, OH presents their 2009 program: "in evening's stillness we shall stare upon the storm"

Set to the music of Joseph Schwantner, who is known for his dramatic and unique style and as a gifted orchestral colorist, Zydeco will bring his musical storm to life. Schwantner has served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, and the Yale School of Music, simultaneously establishing himself as a sought after composition instructor. Schwantner's compositional career has been marked by many awards, grants, and fellowships, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1979 and several Grammy nominations.

His compositions feature extensive use of percussion in the scoring, offering a new voice to the percussion section, as well as virtuosic challenges that were new to the percussion players- all of which lend themselves to the unique sound of Joseph Schwantner's compositions. Paired with the use of non-standard "time frame" notation, Schwantner helped re-invent what music could look, sound and feel like.

Although he has been principally influenced by George Crumb, Messiaen and Debussy, his music is at once identifiable by its luminous, bewitching sounds, chords of equal intervals and unusual effects.

One of his most well-known pieces, "in evening’s stillness", is considered by many to be one of the more important works of the modern wind ensemble repertoire. The composition was inspired by the following verse of poetry:

In evening’s stillness
a gentle breeze,
distant thunder
encircles the silence.

Zydeco’s design team members look to a new direction for their artistic programming this season with a theory of embracing the storm rather than sheltering from it; celebrating the intense dynamic it brings, and much like the music - finding beauty in its powerful and unknown plan.

The 30 members of Zydeco Colorguard will be performing their 2009 production at the Dayton and Indianapolis Power Regionals, as well as the WGI World Championships in April.

Byron Valentine - Colorguard Director & Program Design

Joe Sowders - Program Design & Staging

Michael Townsend - Program Design & Choreography

Jennifer House - Program Consultation & Movement Choreography

Kelly Stephens - Program Consultation & Movement Choreography

Amanda Gutheil - Assistant Director/Administration

Lynsey Tyson - Assistant Director/Treasurer

Jessi Yantis - Assistant Director/Member Services

Tommy Allen - Choreography

Sheldon Apo - Choreography

Matt Miller - Choreography

Clint Fisher - Technician

Laura Gasper - Technician

Eric Jones - Technician

Robin Wells - Technicia


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