From a Southwind press release: Southwind has entered a formal partnership with Conn-Selmer, Inc. Southwind will play exclusively on King marching brass and Ludwig/Musser percussion for the 2005 season and beyond. "This is a huge step forward for our organization, and I am excited for our members and staff. Having top-quality equipment for all sections makes the Southwind experience better for all involved – members, fans, and staff," said Southwind director Mike Loeffelholz.

Ludwig/Musser percussion is proud to announce its return to the competitive drum corps world for 2005. Southwind will perform exclusively on Ludwig field percussion and an all Ludwig/Musser front ensemble. "Southwind is excited to join the Ludwig/Musser family - a family rich in history with drum corps, marching band, and the education of our youth," said Loeffelholz. "We look forward to continuing our legacy of giving Southwind members the best education and best experience possible, and the quality of Ludwig/Musser equipment allows us to succeed with both of those goals." "Ludwig and Musser were the undisputed leaders in corps percussion during the first decades of corps competition," said Bob Berheide, sales manager for Ludwig/Musser. "Now, after several years of research, development, and field testing, Ludwig/Musser marching percussion is moving to meet and exceed the expectations of many percussionists!" Ludwig/Musser will be providing a new line of battery percussion including Ludwig Free Floater snares and Ludwig Challenger tenor and bass drums to Southwind. Balancing the percussion section will be an all Ludwig/Musser front ensemble, including new Classic Grand Marimbas, in both 4.3 -octave and 4.5-octave configurations, with genuine Kelon bars. These are mounted on new durable steel Moto-Cart Frames that are height adjustable and have 8-inch pneumatic wheels for ease of mobility. Southwind joins the Phantom Regiment, Carolina Crown, the Boston Crusaders, the Blue Knights, and the Magic as DCI Division I corps now using King marching brass. "We had planned to replace our G bugles with the new B-flat instruments section by section as our budget allowed," said Loeffelholz, "but Conn-Selmer made it easy for us to switch our entire line out this spring. The King marching brass instruments made our horn line better from the first note. The quality of sound improved dramatically, and we could see that our members knew it, too. I look forward to watching our young brass performers develop as musicians while using the best equipment available -- King." "The character of sound that these instruments deliver really does make an impression with today's critical marching audiences and judges," said Tedd Waggoner, director of brass instrument marketing for Conn-Selmer, Inc., the makers of King instruments. "Intonation, clarity, projection, and response -- these attributes are simply not available with typical marching instruments. It's exciting to hear King Ultimate Marching Brass on the field." Southwind received much of their new brass equipment at their March camp, and will receive the rest of the brass and percussion equipment at their April 22-24 camp.
Conn-Selmer, Inc., the largest manufacturer of band and orchestral instruments and accessories in the United States, is a subsidiary of Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. To contact Conn-Selmer, write to P.O. Box 310, Elkhart, IN 46515-0310 U.S.A. or visit