Santa Ana Winds

The Winds Info Desk



What are the Santa Ana Winds?

The Santa Ana Winds are a competitive marching youth band based in Santa Ana, CA. We perform in parades around California and put on concerts throughout the year. Our goal is to teach our community's youths honor, courtesy, and respect through comraderie and music.


What type of education do you provide students?

Musicians are trained in a traditional marching and concert setting, while colorguard learn how to perform in both parade and concert performances. Wind, percussion, and colorguard sections all have instructors to help members develop and expand their talents. These instructors are former Winds members, and some now teach music in schools throughout California.

Students learn according to their section:

  • Wind musicians learn scale techniques, control in breathing and body position, phrasing and articulation, hearing pitches and correcting their intonation, and they read through a plethora of music from classical to dixieland.
  • Percussionists are drilled in rudiments and rhythmic exercises to built facility and technique. Instructors help them expand upon their musicianship and rhythmic accurancy. They learn not only our cadence and drum solos, but all music, even the classical stuff!
  • Colorguard learn dance maneuvers, spins, tosses, and flourishes, body and limb control, flag angles, handling a flag/banner/baton in ALL environments, and how to keep smiling!

The group as a whole learns marching techniques, tricks to staying in ranks and files, and physical endurance. The attention to individuals exceeds anything provided in the public school system. This is proven by how many of our alumni have gone on to become professional performers and music teachers.


The big question: HOW MUCH?

Mr. Ward started a tradition in 1973: lessons for 10 bucks! No matter how inflation affected the country, that standard never changed.

We follow the belief that musical education should be affordable to all students. Monthly dues help pay for uniform cleaning, new music, instrument repair, and local transportation. Uniforms are provided free of charge, except shoes and gloves. There is an initial joinging fee of only $25, after that you only pay the regular monthly dues.


When do you practice?

We rehearse on Monday nights from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

Our season begins the third Monday in September and goes on through the middle of August. We take a break through the end of August and September for students busy with band camp and the starting of school.

We accept new members at any time of the year. Summer is our busiest schedule, with sometimes three parades a day! And the musical education received is priceless.


Where you at?


We rehearse in the auditorium at Godinez Fundamental High School.

3002 Centennial Road
Santa Ana, CA 92704

Feel free to email the Santa Ana Winds at info at sawinds dot org and we will answer any questions.


How do I join?

Becoming a member of The Santa Ana Winds is very simple. You just show up!

Your first night with us is spent as a "guest," which simply means you do not pay. Check us out, play or spin along, see if you like us, and if you like what you see and hear, come back the next Monday night with the $10 monthly dues and join as a full member. You just fill out a simple form (name, age, etc.) and you're in. There are no embarrassing initiation processes or terrifying auditions. Experience in playing or spinning is, obviously, required.

Even though our season starts in October, we accept new members all year round. Even if you have not marched in years, or specialized only in field show and never really did many parades, the instructors will gladly assist you in learning our unique marching style. Remember, we are a marching band. Come prepared to march.

Once again: There are no auditions.


I don't own my own instrument. Can I borrow one?

The Santa Ana Winds have a limited supply of tubas, trombones, baritones, marching French horns, and percussion instruments for use at Winds activities free of cost. All other instruments must be personally owned, rented, or checked out through your school. If you do not have access to an instrument, ask either the webmasters or our director, Mr. Greg Rocheford, if we can work out a solution.


Why the age limit?

Simpy put, we are a youth band. There are adult bands and community bands in Southern California for those over 21.

We make exceptions to particularly talented students slightly under 14, but a person is "aged out" upon his/her 22nd birthday. At that point, the person can play, but cannot compete.


A little birdie told me....

SAW logo

Many rumors and uncertainties have spread this year. We hope to clear things up.

At the passing of Winds founder, Mr. Robert L. Ward, there was serious talk of the Winds disbanding. However, the core staff realized a competent music group to teach America's youths would vanish, leaving a vacuum in our community. Nature abhors a vacuum!

With a massive surge of eager students and alumni determined to keep a music program alive in the community during this time when schools are cutting back heavily on music and art programs for our children, the assistants to Mr. Ward heartily agreed to keep a group going.

After some time of uncertainty, the Winds reemerged in October 2008, under the direction of Greg Rocheford, Winds alumni and assistant director under Mr. Ward. As of summer 2010, the diretor's baton has passed to another Winds alumni and long-time employee, Anna Sintora. Run by former staff and alumni, the Winds have more determination than ever. We hope to emulate the massive impact on the music community that Mr. Ward began in 1971, providing a safe environment to young musicians and colorguard, with wholesome education, teaching youths honor, courtesy, and respect through comraderie and music.


Are you for real?

This website began in 1997 and was officially approved by Robert Ward in 1998. The site is run by the TigerRag WebTeam, a group of volunteer designers, technicians, and graphical artists who were members of the Winds at some time.

The TigerRag WebTeam is led by husband-and-wife webmasters Matt McKenzie (Mellophone, 1997-2002) and Robyn (Guest) McKenzie (Mellophone/Trombone, 1997-2004). Matt does the technical magic, Robyn does the verbose writing. Matt and Robyn have created websites for many other non-profit groups, home and small businesses, and friends.

We get graphical and technical assistance from many Winds members. Although we believe in a conservative approach to web designing (why we don't have Flash, tons of Javascript, or a splash page), we're always open for people who can make our code a little more nifty or have ideas to improve user-friendliness. If you have a talent and are/were a member of the Winds, feel free to email us.


Who you gonna call?

If you want to join, wish to hire us for an event, or are a parent curious what your child does on Monday and that teenager just won't talk to you, feel free to email us and we will answer any questions.

Please do note, the webmasters are no longer in California, so detailed information may take a while for a response.