March 23rd, 2022

Second Winds Community Band harnesses springtime energy

A large group of band members sit in concert formation with their instruments.
Ready to perform. All photos courtesy of Second Winds Community Band.

Humans often go through creative cycles, oscillating between making and resting, and both periods are vital.  Like plants moving through the seasons, there is a time for blooming, and a time for reserving energy, staying dormant within the soil, in preparation for future growth.  For some musicians, those periods of rest might take years or even decades before they feel called again to play music.  

That is often the case for new members of Second Winds Community Band (SWCB), and whether it’s been months or years since you’ve last picked up an instrument, you’re welcome to join.  The band holds space for folks looking to harness these new bursts of energy, providing the opportunity to be creative within the safe, yet inspiring cocoon of the band. The welcoming band boasts a diverse range of members, from doctors to students, ages ranging from high school-age to 90 years young.

Second Winds Community Band is typically made up of roughly 45-50 members, some of whom have been playing music together since 1998, when the band formed under the direction of Pat Lay.  Today, they continue to thrive as a community of folks who have been brought together by the love of their craft, with Mark Williams at the helm, aided by assistant director, Brian Parker. 

The band’s perseverance and dedication to their art got them through some tough times during the pandemic.  While the world was hosting meetings on zoom, SWCB did their best to host virtual rehearsals as well.  They figured out that the best method for this was to mute themselves and play their instruments along with recordings of each piece.  While this kept the band connected and active, they were all happy to return to in-person rehearsals, at their new rehearsal space at the Yamhill Valley Heritage Center.  

Last summer, SWCB played a couple of outdoor shows, including Dayton Friday Nights and a spot at the Valley View Rock of Ages Air Show, before they returned indoors for their annual Veteran’s Day concert, albeit to a limited capacity audience.   

This spring, the band has been rehearsing for their first full capacity indoor show since the shutdown, bringing a program that was originally scheduled for May of 2020.  “Pictures at an Exhibition” is a triumphant return to their more typical programming, and will feature a projected slideshow of the artwork of local artist, Joyce Messina, who describes her work as Impressionism with a touch of Realism.  

Joyce poses with husband Frank Messina. Frank played trumpet and was a long-time Second Winds member, often known to locals as McMinnville’s “Music Man”. He passed away last fall.

If you go:

Pictures at an Exhibition is scheduled for 3pm on March 27th in the auditorium at the McMinnville Community Center, 600 NE Evans.  Admission is free and all ages are welcome.

Looking ahead:

May 15 at 3 pm – “Oceans, Rivers and Lakes”
McMinnville Community Center | 600 NE Evans, McMinnville

June 25 at 1:30 pm – Outdoor performance at Yamhill County Historical Society’s “Hay Day/Play Day” 
Yamhill Valley Heritage Center | 11275 SW Durham Ln, McMinnville

About the Author: Jamie Corff is the Marketing Coordinator for Visit McMinnville. You’ll likely find her enjoying the arts in the form of theater, music, and the written word. She is also a passionate cheerleader for the people and businesses that are integral to the vibrancy of her beloved Downtown McMinnville.