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Blast off for band tour!

David Rutt directs  the band in preparation for the Waldorf Band Tour. Photo by Ashleigh Stingley

David Rutt directs the band in preparation for the Waldorf Band Tour. Photo by Ashleigh Stingley

By Ashleigh Stingley

After a two-year hiatus, the Waldorf Wind Ensemble band tour will be making its return this weekend, February 25-29.

The Wind Ensemble will be spending their midterm break traveling around the area to put on some wonderful music, have a bit of fun and even recruit some possible future Warriors. While each concert will have a specific selection, their repertoire for the tour ranges from the fast paced “Variations on a Korean Folksong” to the relaxing “Sheltering Sky” and also bringing back some old favorites from earlier in the year like “American Riversongs.”

The feeling of putting on a tour after a lengthy hiatus has been a challenge for Professor David Rutt, but it was a welcoming one.

“I have done a million tours over my career and it’s always work, but after you put it together it’s fun,” said Rutt. “This tour was challenging because we didn’t know until the beginning of the year if we had money, how much, and so on.” Rutt had a good idea of what to do for the tour. His major obstacle was that he had to start planning late, which was hard when schools already set their schedules and snow days have affected the classes.

This tour is senior Emily Anderson’s third, and final, tour. She is one of the few members in band who was in that last tour the Wind Ensemble took three years ago. “To be completely honest, my experience with tours with the Waldorf Wind Ensemble has been extremely frustrating. I have watched the band dwindle over the years I have dedicated to this program from lack of recruitment. Meanwhile, the choir has swelled in size after going on an annual tours,” said Anderson, commenting on her experience with the tours. “I am displeased with the lost time, and very pleased with the actions of our new director, Mr. Rutt. He has been performing miracles for our program.”

Anderson’s hope for the tour is for the recruiting is successful and breathes new life into the Waldorf Wind Ensemble, showing them that Waldorf is a fun place to be.

On the other end of the spectrum, Zach Brown, freshman, can’t wait to get started on the tour.

“It’s great to get the chance to play at other places rather than just Forest City,” said Brown. “There is much to learn from a tour whether you are a traveling musician, future band teacher, or even just as a member taking part in the tour.”

Both Brown and Anderson agree the program put together to perform on the tour was well put together and believe the band is ready to show their talent with them.

Brown hopes the Wind Ensemble aspires for bigger tours after this year and even go across the country for performances. Rutt commented next year they are scheduled to do a national tour, and an international tour sometime after that. He said the tours in the country are more for the reason to recruit while the international tour is more for the fun and experience for the members. However, they decided to stay small this year.

“If you’re going to start touring again, you need to start small,” Rutt said. “We also need to keep recruiting so we can keep growing the numbers. So the natural choice was to do a regional tour and look at schools where our current members graduated from.”

“I am very proud of how far this band has rebuilt itself,” said Brown. “A big thanks to Mr. Rutt for his hard work both in recruiting and pushing us to be better musicians and even better people. Also, a big thanks to the students for putting in such hard work and have been motivated to come each day with a good attitude and a drive to make beautiful music.”