Los Alamos Community Winds takes Second in The American Prize Competition

The Los Alamos Community Winds. Courtesy/LACW

By Bonnie J. Gordon

The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance, 2012 winners were announced Sept. 11, 2012. The Los Alamos Community Winds achieved second place in the Community Division.

The American Prize is a series of non-profit national competitions providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances of music by ensembles and individuals each year. Administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Danbury, Conn., The American Prize was founded in 2009.

In a field of 20 to 30 community bands from all over the United States, only the Quad City Wind Ensemble from Davenport, Iowa was able to best the Los Alamos Community Winds.

The Winds is made of members of the Los Alamos community and is comprised of both amateur and professional musicians of all ages and backgrounds from middle and high school students to retirees.

The ensemble performs four or five formal concerts each season, with a repertoire ranging from orchestral transcriptions to original band works, marches, film music, and Broadway.

The group also performs at civic functions such as the Fourth of July fireworks celebration. This fall marks the 13 season for the Winds.

“We’re thrilled,” Winds Musical and Artistic Director Ted Vives said. “This is a very prestigious competition.”

Bands submit a CD of their performances to a panel of judges who make their selection based on the quality of the performances.

“We were in very good company,” Vives said. 

When asked for the secret of the Winds’ success Vives said, “We play extremely well.” 

That’s no accident. It’s a reflection of the hard work of band members, he said.

“When we reorganized 12 years ago, my goal was to create a serious wind ensemble,” Vives said. “It’s been our goal to offer quality concerts and to play challenging music that the public would not ordinarily hear. We’re also here to serve as a model for band students and give them something to aspire to. Even if you don’t pursue music as a career, you don’t have to put your instrument away.”

Your next chance to hear the award-winning Los Alamos Community Winds will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 in the Fuller Lodge Rose Garden during The Next Big Idea Festival. The performance will feature a new work by Vives that fuses technology with music.

The band will also preview music from their upcoming concert, “A World of Music.” The concert will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at The Los Alamos First Baptist Church.

Stop by the Rose Garden on Saturday, listen to the music and congratulate the Community Winds on their achievement.

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