Winter Winds combines East and West instrumental talent


Gavin Clang

Winter Winds is an indoor marching band open to band students from Bellevue East and West.

LeAnne Bugay, Features Editor

This school year, Bellevue East Band Director Charles Wright and Assistant Band Director Kyle Sandall started the Winter Winds program at East as a way for high school band students from Bellevue West and East to develop their skills.

“I want every band student in the district to be successful and have every opportunity possible,” Wright said in an email. “This is a great way to do so.”

East hosts Winter Winds while West hosts Indoor Percussion, and students from both schools can participate in either.

“The students really work well together and mix well. It’s not about East or West, it’s about creating a high quality product and continuing to develop on their instrument and their marching skills,” Wright said. “These supplemental programs that we can offer at a district level are so important to the continued development of our students and they make the district strong as a complete community.”

District band students in Winter Winds are typically marching band students since the performance format is similar to that of marching band, except for the size of the band and the location.

“Winter Winds is essentially just marching band indoors except there’s no color guard and there’s no percussion,” freshman David Berger said.

Berger said the group is smaller than regular marching bands, with only about 40 students. The low number of members in the band compared to regular season marching band only strengthens the bond between students.

“We are way closer to each other because there’s not a lot of people,” sophomore Jaylah Warner said. “Our sound is a lot better because there’s not a lot of people.

District marching band students have the opportunity to audition after marching season concludes.

“Pretty much anybody can try out if you did marching band, or even we have one girl who didn’t and she’s had to work a little bit more on that,” Berger said.

Wright said the show’s music is all original and upbeat, and includes a Tango section as well.

“The title is City Streets. The theme is a busy big city atmosphere, people rushing to get somewhere, then the downer of getting off late, then going out and dancing,” Wright said.

The group practices every Tuesday, Thursday, and some Saturdays in preparation for Heartland Winter Arts Association competitions at Omaha Burke High School, Papillion-La Vista South High School, and Bellevue West High School. Wright and Sandall will be traveling with the students in April to Dayton, Ohio for the Winter Guard International Winds World Championships.