The South Florida Winter Guard Association was established in 1980 by several high school band directors to continue the marching band drill team experience into the winter months. The fledgling organization was aligned with and patterned after the newly formed Winter Guard International which had been created three years earlier to establish world-wide standards for indoor color guard judging and competition.

Throughout the 1990's the SFWGA grew and embraced 20 to 30 color guard units in weekly competitions. During this time, South Florida became a respected name in Winter Guard International, producing medal winners such as Stoneman Douglas, Miramar HS, Alliance of Miami, J P Taravella, Coconut Creek, and Santaluces.

An additional element of high school band programs, Percussion ensembles, was added into the weekly contest lineup in 2003. Percussion performances rapidly became highly popular, and are now fully integrated into winter competitions, producing nationally acclaimed units like STRYKE, Cypress Bay, and Cooper City.

During 2015, the 35th Anniversary season of the SFWGA, the third element of high school band programs, Wind ensembles, were added into the SFWGA competitive season. On January 31st of that year, the SFWGA presented the very first WGI sanctioned Winds competition in the world. Later that Spring, three SFWGA Wind ensembles brought home medals from the first WGI Winds World Championships held in Dayton Ohio.

During the 2015 Season, we fielded performances by 85 performing ensembles from 8 South Florida counties.
We instill in students and young adults an appreciation for the Performing Arts, and accomplish this by encouraging artistic expression and individual accomplishment through a blend of rhythm, music, dance, precision drill work, and dramatic effect.

We use competition as the venue to build the values of teamwork, leadership and discipline in our student performers. The high school band programs remain the core focus of our responsibilities and initiatives. Our activities are designed and intended to augment and complement high school band programs, and exist in harmony with the educational philosophies of the Band Director.

We offer a full range of skill groups, from beginning novice classifications to highly advanced world classifications. Our contests are designed to create an environment where all students may excel and be recognized for their performance accomplishments without regard to gender, physical attributes, family economics, or previous experience.

We foster a competitive environment where all students, regardless of skill level, bring value and appreciation to the performance floor, and are recognized for doing so. We build character, social responsibility, and moral values by providing a structured, adult supervised environment, centered around the parent-student-teacher relationship.

Instructors are the backbone and core component of the activities. The scoring process is designed to acknowledge and reward the contributions of our instructors and their staffs. We provide instructional and design educational opportunities to Instructors throughout the season through a blend of pre-season judges feedback, live side-by-side opportunities with judges, and post-performance critique with judges. To ensure the quality and consistency of judging and scoring, the SFWGA enlists a professional judging association to recruit and assign the highest caliber of certified judges throughout the country, many of whom are Finals Judges in World Championships.
We are committed to supporting Music and Arts programs in our school systems, and ensuring the existence of the SFWGA for future generations. We do this through fiscal responsibility, the promise to live within our financial means, and the promise to continually re-invent ourselves to meet the changing needs of the community. We encourage instructors and designers to expose their performers to a wide variety of music and performance themes during their high school years, and to reach beyond the status quo, implementing new and untried performance ideas.
The SFWGA is 100% self-funded, and receives no funding from state, county, or local school budgets, or from any governmental agency. Income is derived primarily from three sources: Ticket sales from SFWGA-hosted contests (Premiere and Championships), member dues/non-member contest entry fees, and franchise fees paid by contest Host schools which are used to offset a portion of contest expenses.

See below for the financial breakdown of our last fully completed year, 2015.
Revenue (2015)
Expenses (2015)