Mobile, AL – October 11th, 2023 – The Empower Youth in the Performing Arts, Inc. (EYPA) Board of Directors is announcing the difficult decision to cease operations of Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps.
“We are very sad to shut down the corps,” said EYPA Board President Cathy Chandler. “But the continued rising costs of transportation and housing within the current tour model, which accounts for almost 65 percent of the corps’ budget each summer, have placed the corps in a position where we are no longer able to participate and maintain financial stability. As an organization that cares first and foremost about its students, we are unwilling to lead them into a fiscally irresponsible situation that could leave them hanging for the summer. Rather than risk their experience, we are making the tough choice to cease operations.”
Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps has been proud to offer a one-of-a-kind musical and educational experience for its students since its founding in 1980. Throughout the years, hundreds of youth have had the opportunity to explore, grow, and excel with Southwind. This past summer saw the corps’ return to the medal podium with a third place finish in Open Class. Previously, Southwind won championships in 1991 and 1992 in Class A/Division II, and its highest placement was in 2000, when the corps ranked 13th in what is now the World Class division.
Southwind is grateful for all members and supporters who have contributed to the corps over the years, and we thank the staff and volunteers that have spent countless hours working with members to help them grow as musicians and people.
The organization has made it a priority to work with individual members and their families to ensure they are properly equipped and supported through this process. The EYPA organization will continue to support these members as they transition to finding new opportunities within the marching arts.
Going forward, EYPA will continue its dedication to serving young people in performing arts, providing opportunities for artistic expression, personal growth, and community involvement.