What happened to winter winds


contributed by the Boardman family

Junior Kelsie Lyle plays the flute for marching band. October 22, at the “Perry competition”

During the winter season, as fall season ends for marching band, students have an opportunity to split into different groups for their zero hour classes. Typically, band is split into three different ensembles of percussion, guard, and winds. However, the winds will not be playing this year.

Students play together in separate groups of similar instrument classes, as band conductor Benjamin Sampayan explained. “Envision the different aspects of the marching band being pulled apart. You have the drum line… the color guard… and the winds,” As color guard becomes Winter guard, the drum line becomes the percussion ensemble, and finally the wind instruments become winter winds. And it “allows us, the whole winter program, to continue fostering high performance value.” Sampayan explained, “it’s kind of like training in the off season, but instead of just training, they have a performance they are working on during the off season.” 

However this year the wind section is not going to be performing in an ensemble. “While we do have enough [people] by the rules to floor a winds program, it’s not to the level of participation we’ve had in the past,” Sampayan explained. Students in the wind section are not particularly interested in the program either, and the lack of drive to join the program is another major factor.

The few students who would have taken winter winds such as junior Camden Hill have chosen to join different ensembles. Traditionally a trumpet player has expressed interest in joining the drum line as “a large majority of [winds players] just aren’t doing winter season” but a large majority of the ones who are are joining drum line. And junior Conner Tolmen, a clarinet player, is split between winter percussion and weights as he has, “never touched a percussion instrument before” and would require learning a new instrument. 

While many such as junior Kelsie Lyle see the lack of a winter winds program this year as an opportunity to learn new instruments and practice new skills, Lyle said, “winter winds was fun for sure, but I am definitely excited to have a new opportunity to learn a new instrument.” She participated in winter winds last year and would much rather try something new instead of “repeating the same thing.”  

Winter winds has only been a newer addition, and overall is nothing more than an extra practice season, with other options to choose from such as the other ensembles such as symphonic orchestra. And its absence from the curriculum may push students into new opportunities, and to learn and try something new as they leave their comfort zone, and in the end provide them with new experiences.