In 1986, the band formed a mutually advantageous affiliation with Muskegon Community College: the WINDS receives an influx of talented college musicians who rehearse and perform for credit each semester, and the college benefits from exposure in the community while enhancing its class offerings. The WINDS is an open volunteer auditioned ensemble, drawing members from much of the West Michigan area.
The WINDS love our music and enjoy sharing it with audiences, thereby enriching the cultural life of the community. We also love to travel, which has taken us from various cities within Michigan, to European festivals in England, Wales, Ireland, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In 1997 the WINDS began participating annually in the Red Cedar Festival of Community Bands in Okemos, MI. Since 2010 the ensemble has added the Motor City Festival of Bands in Dearborn and Bands on the Grand Festival in Grand Rapids to its annual rotation of festival participation. Performing for their peers from other community bands and receiving adjudication, followed by coaching, from nationally recognized clinicians has been a great learning tool for the ensemble to hone its musicianship and technical prowess.
In April of 2005, the WINDS was one of six bands chosen to perform at the Association of Community Bands' national convention in Quincy, IL. The following year, the group was awarded the John Phillip Sousa Foundation's Sudler Silver Scroll, recognizing the WINDS as demonstrating high standards of excellence in concert activities over a period of several years and a significant and leading role in the cultural and musical environment in the community.
On the heels of receiving this prestigious award, the WINDS applied for and was selected to host the Association's thirty-third national convention in May of 2011. Four years of planning and tremendous community support produced an event that set new standards for subsequent conventions.
The honor of hosting the ACB 2011 convention, coupled with the Sudler Silver Scroll, has served to propel the WINDS into sustaining a high artistic level while performing the more challenging compositions being written by today's composers of band literature.
The WINDS invite you to join in our success by becoming a patron, supporter and fan.