West Bloomfield, MI
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Written by:
West Bloomfield Bands
Published:
12/05/2016

West Bloomfield, Michigan December 1, 2016 -- The Band Boosters Association of West Bloomfield has added West Bloomfield Winds, a brand new program geared toward middle school students, to its portfolio of extracurricular winter programs. The ensemble, also known as “Winter Winds” or simply “Winds,” features students who attend both Abbott and Orchard Lake Middle Schools in grades 6, 7 and 8. Rehearsals began on November 29 with approximately 25 students in attendance. The public is invited to attend the group’s first performance at the West Bloomfield Winter Invitational on Saturday February 4, 2017.

The Winds program’s show is titled “Eyes Turned Skyward” and will feature music from Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss and The Planets by Gustav Holst. The program director is Sam Silverman, a music education student at the University of Michigan. Silverman is currently the brass instructor for the West Bloomfield High School Marching Band. For the Winter Winds program, he will be working under the supervision of Chad Mielens, the Director of Bands at West Bloomfield High School.

The Winds program is similar in some ways to marching band in that it will have similar choreography and movement. In addition to the traditional woodwinds, brass and percussion, the Winds program can accommodate some non-traditional instruments as well, such as guitars and strings. Unlike marching band, it is performed indoors, on a much smaller floor. The goal of the Winds program is twofold: to introduce students to the marching arts and enhance their overall band experience by giving them performance opportunities apart from the concerts offered in their traditional band classes.

The Winds program complements the other winter programs sponsored by West Bloomfield Bands. The Winter Guard program has three ensembles, including Elementary, Junior Varsity and Varsity programs, while West Bloomfield High School has an award-winning Winter Percussion program. By offering a Winter Winds program, the West Bloomfield Bands will provide an additional creative outlet for students who enjoy playing wind instruments but who may be too young or not ready for either Marching Band or Winter Percussion.

Winter Guard International (WGI) introduced Winds in 2015. The West Bloomfield Winds ensemble is only the second Winds group in Michigan, and currently the only one in the Scholastic class.

For more information:
Winds page on the West Bloomfield Bands website: http://wbbands.info/west-bloomfield-winds/
Sam Silverman, Program Director: samsil@umich.edu
Chad Mielens, Director of Bands: chad.mielens@wbsd.org

West Bloomfield Bands
c/o West Bloomfield High School
4925 Orchard Lake Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48323

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