Hello Alumni, Friends, and Family,

For Southwind, the 2021 Season begins on October 1. Normally we’d be visiting marching band contests all over the Southeast and counting applicant registrations in anticipation of our December audition camps. But, this is the start of drum corps season like we’ve never experienced. Yeah. Southwind has had plenty of seasons of inactivity for various reasons, but this is a first for all of us. Every day I receive an email from a prospective member, returning vet, or teaching staff asking about our 2021 plans. And I can only respond with, “Stay tuned!” Right now there are so many regional fluctuations in viral cases across the country that it’s difficult to determine where we’re headed. We can only plan for several scenarios and wait to see which is optimal. One thing is for sure, we won’t begin until we know our activity will be safe for all involved. That includes our membership, volunteers, and the super old guys like Dave and Eddie (sorry Dave and Eddie!).

At the end of October, Southwind was hit with a new natural disaster. Another “Southwind” called Hurricane Sally targeted the Mobile and Baldwin counties where a good number of our alumni and staff live as well as our rehearsal facilities, equipment, and fleet. I am happy to say that all of our people escaped without injury. However, some of their homes and properties were damaged by falling trees. Ted and Swoogen had no damage and when ready, will open their doors when they are needed. I appreciated all the emails and notes from concerned family and other Corps Directors about our people. The drum corps community is tight in normal times and always there when crisis appears.

While we wait for a starter pistol from DCI, we plan. What will our tour be like? How many students will be interested in joining? How will we staff a summer that may not happen? So many questions await and there are so few answers. When I visit Ted on occasion to deliver or swap equipment, I get a chill. It’s a visual and physical representation of all the work we’ve accomplished the past seven years. From a ragtag Soundsport team where tenors were wired together with coat hangers to a fully equipped corps that’s fighting for a medal every year. That’s a crazy accomplishment in a short amount of time. And it’s all because of our membership, our alumni, our staff, and our volunteers that all provide their share of the work. In a podcast recently with Intermission Drum Corps, I was asked to give shoutouts to special people in our organization. My response was, “That’s just impossible. There are too many people to thank and no words can really express my gratitude to what they provide to us – those with us now and those that have moved on to other projects or corps.”

So with that note, “Stay tuned!”