WAHS Indoor Winds Win Big at StateWildcats Band Takes 1st Place at SCBDA Championships
April 29, 2017
From Staff Reports
Students from West Ashley High School’s Indoor Winds and Winter Guard teams recently competed in the SCBDA Winter Ensemble Championships at River Bluff High School. West Ashley High’s Indoor Winds came in 1st place while the Winter Guard came in 5th place overall.
At the competition, West Ashley High competed against Wando, Gaffney, Ninety-Six, Colleton County, River Bluff, Hartsville, and Riverside, among others.
Both the Indoor Winds and Winter Guard did an excellent job at this year’s SCBDA Winter Ensemble Championships. West Ashley High Band Director Stacy Coker credits a lot of the band’s success to their hard work and willingness to go above and beyond to continue getting better.
“The most impressive thing about these students is their willingness to go the extra mile for their craft,” said Coker. “The best part about working with them is that they are incredible musicians and it is fun sharing the music-making experience with them. They are pushing me to become a better teacher and I like that!”
2016 marked the first year that the high school had an Indoor Winds ensemble. Prior to this year, they only competed in the exhibition category at competitions. That is until this year.
This was the first year that the South Carolina Band Directors Association recognized Indoor Winds as a competitive category at the state level. This means that by placing 1st at the SCBDA Winter Ensemble Championships, West Ashley High’s Indoor Winds are now the 2017 State Champions for South Carolina; the first in the state to receive this honor. Their total score was 83.3.
West Ashley High’s Indoor Winds show is titled “Illusions”. The music is based in part on the “Inception” soundtrack while the show offers a series of visual moments that work as optical illusions that tie into the band’s choreography throughout their show.
Indoor Winds takes place in a gym setting with a floor cover designed to help the audience better understand what is happening in the story. The ensemble, a combination of winter guard and marching band, performs dance choreography and drill while playing their instruments. The students often practiced for three and a half hours twice a week in order to perfect the show’s extensive drill and choreography.
The Winter Guard placed 5th at this year’s state competition, coming in three spots higher than they did last year. Their show was titled “Unrequited” and was about unreciprocated love between a boy and a girl. The boy moves on and the girl is left behind, still in love. The show involved many visuals and a great deal of choreography. It also included a cover of the hit song “Wrecking Ball”. Their total score was 58.36.
While both groups are scored on various aspects of their show, Winter Guard is scored primarily on how well they spin and how well they spin both together and individually. They are both scored on show’s overall design and how well they tell the story which they are telling.
“I cannot express how proud I am of both groups,” said Coker. “These students have been working very hard since November and their hard work paid off. They have not only improved as musicians / guard members but they have become better people throughout this process and that is the most important lesson in all of this. The future is very bright for the West Ashley High School Cat Band!”