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When the Winds Go Marching In

This past Saturday, February 10th, Woodlan Winter Winds began their competition season. They gathered at Woodlan for practice at 7:30am to run through the show and make any last-minute fixes. After loading the trailers, they were served breakfast that was donated by parents. They had breakfast casseroles, cinnamon rolls, muffins, fruit, yogurt, milk, and Sunny D. They loaded the bus and headed for Noblesville High School. Many of the students had their makeup done in Mardi Gras colors on the ride there. Unfortunately, uniforms for this season did not arrive earlier in the week as planned, so all students wore their show shirt with black pants and their black marching shoes. Upon arriving at Noblesville, it saved some time as no one needed to change into uniforms as they were already dressed.

At Noblesville, the students were dropped off at one end of the very large school by their holding area in the hallway. They made their way ALL THE WAY across the building to where the equipment and props entrance was located and helped unload the trailers. Students all picked out some Mardi Gras beads and got ready for warm-ups. It was soon time to head to warm-up and then take the floor for their performance.  This week, Noblesville used a horizontal timeline, which means that the entire show can be loaded across the back of the performance floor, but no one can cross the horizontal timeline until the judge allows. The show this year includes having the percussion and pit equipment in the back left corner of the floor, “in the graveyard”, and all of the tarot cards are in the back right side of the floor. All of these props and equipment were able to be set across the back of the performance floor before our time clock started running, which was really nice this year. We only had a small tarp and stage piece to set after our time started running. This made for a very laid-back set-up.

This year’s show, “The Other Side,” is New Orleans-themed and has some really terrific, upbeat jazz music. It is a very fun show with great music, and Winter Winds did a fantastic job in their performance! The first week of competition is often a guessing game of trying to figure out who the competition is, what their show is about, and where you might place. It was a bummer to not have uniforms out this week, but there were also other groups without uniforms there as well.

Within the Indiana Percussion Association’s Winds Division, there are very few Winds groups in the state. We knew heading into it that we would be up against groups from some very big schools, and that it may be tough to compete with some of those groups. In our class (Winds Scholastic A), we competed against Washington, Ben Davis, Warren Central, Kokomo, Clay City, Yorktown, and Lake Central.  Woodlan competed with 25 members this weekend, and some of the other groups had over 40 members. To give a little perspective in terms of ISSMA classifications by school size for marching bands, Woodlan was the only Class D school competing against 3 schools from Class A, 1 school from Class B, and 3 schools from Class C. The students knew the competition would be strong, and they went out there and gave it their best efforts and did a great job! Their music performance was especially strong!

After their performance, the students and pit crew loaded the trailers and returned to the stands to watch some of the groups from the Winds Scholastic World Class perform (WOW!). Ean Schindler, Joe Coomer, and Calvin Brown represented Woodlan in the awards ceremony. Woodlan received a participation award along with Clay City and Yorktown. The placements were:

1.       Kokomo Indoor Winds

2.       Ben Davis Winter Winds

3.       Lake Central Winds

4.       Warren Central Winds

5.       Washington Winds

It was a great first week out in competition for Winter Winds. The group found out afterwards that they finished in 6th place and were very close in scores to 5th place, just behind those bands from the huge schools. That was a great place to finish this week and gives them something to set their sights on. They have a lot of work left to do to add Part Three to their show and will return to practice this week with that focus. Hopefully, their uniforms will be in soon and they will have them in place for their next competition.


Up next, Woodlan Winter Winds will compete on Saturday, February 24th at Decatur Central High School in Indianapolis. Woodlan will compete against all of the same groups as this weekend, but this time, will close out the class performances rather than start off the class. Winds Scholastic A will begin at 6:45pm with Warren Central Winds and will conclude with Woodlan Winter Winds at 7:48pm. Winds Scholastic World groups will follow (Avon, Greenfield Central and Westfield), then Elevate Winds will finish the evening at 8:40pm. The Awards Ceremony will be at 9:00pm.


Winter Guard will also be competing next on Saturday, February 24th. They will be performing at Carroll High School in Fort Wayne. Don’t forget, this will be their last local competition! The Festival Class will begin at 11:35am with Triton Jr./Sr. High School and conclude at 12:59pm with Goshen JV. Woodlan Winter Guard will perform at 11:42am and Awards will be held at 2:30pm.


It will be a big day for both of our groups and all of our talented students. They need your support and encouragement! Please show up for these students and cheer them on! It really does help them be more successful! Good luck to all of our great students!!

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