Hello Southwind Friends and Family,

As high school and college bands swing back into action, we too start planning for our future. It all begins with our 2022 auditions. A few weeks ago, we opened the website for registrations and already, the students are signing up. But still, there are many unknowns for the 2022 season such as new covid protocols, student numbers, and housing. But for now, we expect it to be like past summers. We’re planning for move-ins to begin in mid-June followed by a 4-5 week road tour that ends in Indianapolis. Our exact tour stops will not be announced by DCI until Thanksgiving, so stay tuned for where we’ll perform. No matter what, I’m sure we’re going to need plenty of help on the road. It seems we never have a surplus of drivers, food service staff, or medical personnel.  Consider this my first request to donate time if you have it. Spend a week with the corps! We can pick you up at a gas station and fly you home at the end of your time. Whatever it takes to get this group down the road.

The two-year hiatus presents a large challenge for the corps. The continuity of veteran staff and membership is one of our single largest assets to rebuild. When the members are trained how to load Ted, how to manage rehearsal, or how to move on tour, you miss them when they’re gone. The veteran membership over the past 7 years has been so strong with building and maintaining traditions every year. To be without them for two whole seasons is a real kick in the gut. Nevertheless, we already see some of our most important vets signing up for 2022 and they will serve to keep what we started going into the future.

Before the end of 2021, we will have some new items to reveal to the world. A new and improved website will be unveiled in the coming weeks to serve as our front door to fans, recruits, members, and supporters. Our food bus, Swoogon, has a new engine (part of the 2020 renovation/speed package) and a new paint job on the design table. Just like our Ted-Diamond campaign, get ready for an opportunity to leave your mark and show your support for your corps. And by our first audition camp, new folding aluminum stairs will be installed on Ted to make entry to the top deck much safer and easier for the loading crews.

We preach to our members about always improving. And as the stewards of the corps, we try to live by that same philosophy. We’re always reviewing our past, making necessary changes, and pushing out new plans of action. Sometimes we may not hit our dot, so we adjust and try again. We’re always striving to get better. So, If you find yourself daydreaming about your time in the corps, then contact me and give us some help. Serving meals and helping in the background is just as rewarding as being on the field. Until next time, Sdub-luv.