2019 Color Guard Leadership

Spirit of Atlanta is proud to announce new leadership for the 2019 Spirit of Atlanta color guard.

James Gabonay
James Gabonay

James Gabonay will be taking the role of Color Guard Coordinator/Designer. James has led many high schools as both an outdoor and winter color guard director and designer including Hempfield high School and Gateway High School (2014 Scholastic A WGI Finalist). He has also worked with the Cadets2 Drum and Bugle Corps (DCA) [Designer] as well as the Troopers [Technician]. His marching and performing experience includes Norwin High School, where he currently serves as the director and designer, and the Cavaliers (2012-14). He holds a degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Secondary Education- Social Studies.

Nikki Szymanski

Joining James is Nikki Szymanski as the Color Guard Caption Manager. Nikki has worked in many leadership roles for various high school color guards, including Marion Harding, Westerville South, Maumee High School, and Central Crossing High School, where she is currently the director. Most recently, Nikki was the co-caption head for the Oregon Crusaders (2017-18). Her personal marching experience includes The Glassmen (2010-11), The Academy (2013), Juxtaposition Winterguard (2013-15), and the Cadets (2014-16).

Chris Moore, Corps Director, says, “We are very excited about the addition of James and Nikki to our staff. We feel they bring the innovation, creativity, and excitement to take us into the next chapter with our Color Guard program.” Sal Salas, Artistic Director/Program Coordinator adds, “I am so excited to be working with these two talented educators. Creativity knows no bounds with James and his [Color Guard] designers. Nikki brings a vast amount of experience in the day-to-day management and technique program to the Spirit of Atlanta. This is a really exciting time for the 2019 SOA Color Guard!”