Hello Southwind Alumni, Family, and Friends!
It’s hard to believe that we just completed our SIXTH summer since starting the corps in Mobile. This season featured a lot of milestones. The 2019 edition of Southwind was our largest corps to date with 124 members. Our members were away from home for a total of 50 days, including 35 days on road and 18 show days. We finished 5th in Open Class with our highest score to date of 72.363 since coming back and 27th place in all of DCI (just two places out of semi-finals). We were recognized by our fellow Open Class directors as the Most-Improved Corps of 2019, and our head Drum Major, Rhianna Zaidan, won our very first Jim Jones Award for top drum major in our class. Best of all, our members had a terrific and memorable summer.
Plans for our 2020 season have been developing rapidly. We’re moving to a new home at Daphne High School in Daphne, Ala., which will provide more rehearsal space both inside and out. The band practice fields are first-class with a 45 ft. multi-level tower and lights for late night rehearsals. We’ll be extending our move-ins by an entire week this season, so when we hit the road, our show will be much cleaner and complete for competition. We’re grateful to Daphne Head Band Director Jamar Dumas, Principal John Comer, and the Baldwin County Board of Education for supporting us and our activities at their great school.
In less than two months, we’ll kick off the 2020 season with our first audition camp on Nov. 22-24. We plan to build on our momentum from 2019 with our largest group of applicants to date. By then our summer tour will be mapped out, we’ll show off new additions to our staff, and set the stage for another level of growth.
In the background, you should know that Empower Youth in the Performing Arts is working on all sorts of projects. We have formed a long-term relationship with The Park at OWA in Foley to supply entertainment for their retail areas and amusement park. Vocal groups, brass ensembles, and percussion groups will fill the air there with music all year long, which will provide our members and associates with performance opportunities to showcase their talents and get paid! Want to perform with us? Just send an email to [email protected] for information. We’re super excited for this opportunity to support the organization, both financially and publicity-wise in the community.
Building on our wildly successful Diamond Campaign that helped fund the refurbishment of our equipment truck, we’ll be initiating a new capital campaign to raise money for a real food trailer. This project will take a bit longer and will be more expensive than costing a coat of paint. Stay tuned to learn how you can help feed the corps for many more seasons to come.
Lastly, I want to thank ALL of the wonderful volunteers, support staff, instructional staff, design team, and administrators that have worked the past six years to grow this corps. Special thanks to all of you that have purchased diamond decals and t-shirts, written checks, donated meals, or dropped a few bucks into our collection buckets. You have had made a huge contribution to the lives of our members. We appreciate every dollar donated and every minute of volunteer time. Please continue to support us, and we’ll continue to make corps even better!
Our ongoing thanks and gratitude,