In 1980, Southwind became a not-for-profit youth organization and a chartered member of the Tucabatchee Council, Explorer Post 2009. On January 14, 1981, under the leadership of Director Michael Terry, Southwind played its very first chord. The corps completed two seasons.
The corps went inactive for most of the 1980s, and returned to competition in 1989 as a Division II corps. Southwind went on to complete an undefeated season in 1991 and capture a second Championship ring again in 1992.
In 1998 Southwind again went inactive, but this time only for a year, so that the Madison Drum Corps Association could take over management. For the 1999 season, they relocated from Montgomery, Alabama to Lexington, Kentucky under the leadership of new director Pat Seidling, and entered into competition again with a 15th place finish.
The following season, Southwind continued its success on the performance field, finishing 13th with a score of 84.95. The overall score was two tenths behind the 12th place Bluecoats, but all performance captions, brass, guard, and percussion, finished 12th or better. The summer of 2000 also marks the creation of the corps song, "The Ghost of Southwind." The lyrics are set to the tune of "Legends of the Fall," the corps ballad that season, and was sung for the first time by the teary-eyed membership immediately following their semi-finals performance.
Not Sure if this survived the move to Lexington, but Alumni from the Montgomery Southwind, know all about this.
Countdown to Camp
When the rebirth of Southwind came about in 1999, one of the perks of the corps was its very own message board, run by Southwinds webmaster, Zeb Hallock. Mackenzie Arnold, Mellophone, began posting up to the minute countdowns letting all visitors to the boards the exact time the next rehearsal camp was to begin. Kyle Prestenback, Bass, continued the tradition through the 2001-2002 seasons. The 'web' tradition still continues today.
Beginning in the 1999 season and continuing through the 2001 season, the drumline played the song, #41 by the Dave Matthews Band, on the bus before every show. Not one show was missed through the first three seasons. This tradition was started by Jeff Doyle, top bass, 1999-2000. The tradition still continues today.
Legends of the Fall and The Ghost of Southwind
The corps song is Legends of the Fall often times referred to as just "Legends." The piece comes from the 2000 field show, where Southwind had its highest finish to date at 13th place. The piece can be heard on occasion in the parking lot, played by the hornline.
The vocal version of the corps song is known as "The Ghost of Southwind," and uses lyrics written by members from the 2000 season. the lyrics are as follows.
As days go by, we shall go on
With the memories and the friendships that last so long
Our family will cherish forever and ever always.
Our heads help up high, with the pride that we share.
We stand as one forever.
The future holds what legends have left --
watch as our march goes on.
Rhythms through time
With the music we climb
Dancing on we shall find
The ghost of Southwind lives forever
Our loving kin shall rise together
As heros fade, the legends live on
We turn to go, but live as one.
- Southwind is a two-time world championship corps in Division II.
- The corps was named after a train that used to run through Montgomery from Chicago to Miami.
- Southwind is the Only drum corps to use the Hip-Ball-Change method of direction change.