MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Empower Youth in the Performing Arts, Inc. Board of Directors has decided to end the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps.
EYPA Board President Cathy Chandler said it was a difficult decision; however, they could not compete with the rising transportation and housing costs.
“We are very sad to shut down the corps 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,” Chandler said.
“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.”
SDBC is a member of the Drum Corps International’s Open Class and has “provided quality music education for youth in the Southeast,” according to their website.
Originally created in the 1980s, Southwind won back-to-back world championships before moving to Kentucky and going inactive.
The Southwind Alumni Association began planning to recreate the corps in 2012 and in 2015, and Southwind re-emerged into the competitive class.