Southwind to perform here next week

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 18, 2016

Local music aficionados and area band students will get the opportunity to watch a drum and bugle corps next weekend.

The Southwind Drum and Bugle Corp will practice at Andalusia High School June 23-25.

LBWCC instructor Johnny Brewer, who is affiliated with Southwind announced Friday that rehearsals are open to the public.

“The best time would be the evening block as it will only be 85 degrees then,” he said. “We will be practicing all day.”

Brewer said they will practice from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, from 7 p.m. until 10:30 or 11 on Thursday night and from 9 a.m. until noon on Sunday.

Brewer said the morning session will be the corps learning drills and then music sectionals will be in the afternoon before putting the show together in the evenings.

Southwind’s Gabe Trotter plays his trumpet as Johnny Brewer directs. | Courtesy photo

Southwind’s Gabe Trotter plays his trumpet as Johnny Brewer directs. | Courtesy photo

“That starts about 6:30 p.m., and goes until 10 p.m.”

The marching group meets at different location over a period of several weekends to prepare for drum and bugle corps competition.

The organization is based out of Mobile and is a Drum Corps International Open Class drum and bugle corps.

Brewer said the corps was founded in 1981 and Southwind were DCI champions in 1991 and 1992.

Southwind left Alabama in 1997 for Lexington, Ky., and went inactive in 2007.

In 2012, Southwind Alumni Association began planning the rebirth of Southwind in Mobile.

In 2014, they toured as a DCI SoundSport team.

“The DCI SoundSport was created to let you create group in your own neighborhood with any instrumentation and age group,” he said. “It made it very easy for Southwind to come back.”

A year later they earned the DCI Open Class designation.

“We will stay in open class a few more years and then will return to world class,” he said.

There are about 85 members from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and other areas of the Southeast. The group consists of percussion, brass and color guard.

AHS Band Director Bennie Shellhouse got permission in April from the Andalusia Board of Education to allow Southwind to use the facilities at AHS.

They will sleep on cots in the gym, use the bandroom, volleyball gym and football field for rehearsals.

“This is a great opportunity for our kids to see a more polished type group,” Shellhouse said. “It’s a good chance for the bands around our area, to see how they practice and the intensity with which they practice.”

Brewer said local band students are welcome to come sit in and watch brass rehearsal around 2:45 p.m., on Friday and Saturday.

“It will be very educational,” he said. “We would love for anyone who wants to watch us perform to come out and watch us.”