Happy New Year, Southwind Alumni, Family, and Friends!

We’re wrapping up our 2020 audition season with a record number of applicants. In fact, we’re up over 30% from this time last year with nearly 70 vets making their bid to return to the field. With so many talented returning and new applicants, we’re looking to expand the corps by 15 to 20 members, possibly making this season’s corps the largest in our history. Those expansions will be primarily in the guard and hornline. Our January rehearsal camp reflected that expansion with over 160 potential members in attendance.

Our design team has been busy during the off-season and has worked solidly through the holidays. Three-quarters of the show is fully arranged and now in the member’s hands. Props and uniforms are on the drawing board, and drill is being written as I type. We continue to mark off goals each month as we move forward towards the summer. In fact, we’re planning to teach opener drill at the February camp.

This season, we will sponsor THREE performances for the corps. We’ll kick off the season on July 3rd at the Foley Sports Complex for a Friends and Family Preview Show. We’ll show off a bit with our performance ensembles, our community outreach programs, and will have an exclusive section for alumni and donors for the event. Stay tuned for those details.

Next, you can catch the corps at two of our events, Drums Across the River Region and DCI Auburn, both sponsored by Southwind. DARR will be a full Open Class/DCA All-Age event, and DCI-Auburn will feature 10 world class corps and Southwind for a full evening before we head to the midwest for the Open Class circuit. Don’t miss either of these shows for your chance to cheer on your corps.

As always, there are challenges in this activity. Our workhorse foodbus, aka “The Swoogen,” is hurting. For the last three years and for over 15,000 miles, she has served thousands of meals to our members and staff, but the road has taken a toll on her engine and interior. Instead of purchasing and building a food trailer, we have opted to remodel the interior and rejuvenate the powertrain. The new interior and engine should give it another 5-8 years of service. The inside renovation was completed a month ago and now she’s in the shop for a new engine. And what good is a new interior without a new look on the outside? Well, we’re currently taking bids for a new paint job to match our growing fleet. Stay tuned for a new diamond-style fundraiser campaign to help us with the funds.

Volunteers! With so many new members and programs, we need more help. We need web designers, photographers, administrators, cooks, printers, construction helpers, welders, and more. Please consider working with your corps for a day, weekend, or summer. We need your time, and we want you to be a part of this growing organization.

And always, if spare time is a rarity for you, please consider donating a few bucks to our projects. Even monthly donations of $5 or $10 help. It’s a small amount of money that we appreciate a lot.

See you all on the road (or at the next camp!)

Lawrence