Featured Musicians: North Coast Winds

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Meet North Coast Winds: They’re incredible, they’re some of our favorite regulars at Classical Revolution Cleveland, and they’re pretty fantastic people to boot! They have found their niche in a wide range of outreach and education based performances, branching beyond the world of standard concerts and recitals. We hope you’ll hear them soon!! Find their page on Facebook, or learn more at http://www.northcoastwinds.com

1. Who are you? Where are you from, originally? When and how did you form?
We’re the North Coast Winds, and we come from all corners of the US (and even a bit from Canada) – California, Oklahoma, Michigan, Toronto, and South Carolina. We formed in Fall of 2013, but we’ve played together for years in various other roles.

2. In a city that bustles with independent classical music projects, what makes you/your ensemble unique?
Our dedication to outreach. In a time when orchestra ticket sales are declining, we’re reaching out to a future audience of concert-goers and showing them what effect music can have on a community, or, at very least, we try to brighten their days a bit when we come to visit.

3. Feel free to list upcoming performances and recent notable events!
We’ve got various outreach performances coming up at local retirement homes and schools. We’re focusing on the outreach and preparation aspects of our game (so to speak) for this semester as we apply to local and international competitions for the Spring.

4. Any focus on community engagement?
Almost everything we do is community engagement. Last year we worked with the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals on several occasions, and we’re looking forward to reconnecting with them now that we’re all back in town from our busy summers!

5. Long-term plans/goals for you/your ensemble? This can include group travel to festivals, competitions, etc.
Our second season is dedicated to growing the many relationships we made last year with local retirement communities and schools. We’re also preparing for the Nielsen International Competition, which has a Wind Quintet division this time around. We’d like to go in and make a splash!

6. Craziest gig or performance memory?
Definitely being given brand new music by a composer and having less than a day or so to prepare. The collaboration experience with a composer was fun, but we were shaking in our boots!

7. Most moving/satisfying/affirming performance memory?
Having an audience of 4 sit and listen to our entire set of music. It was nice to have such a captive audience. We had the opportunity to connect with this young couple and their two kids, and afterwards we spent time together talking about music and answering any questions they had. It was small, but it was special.

8. Favorite NON-musical activity?
I think all of us like to cook in some form or another!

9. Favorite NON-classical music and/or artistic inspiration?
I can’t speak for the rest of the group, but I’m a huge fan of American Colonial History. Benjamin Franklin is one of my idols, and I try to remember the dozens of lessons I’ve learned from the books I’ve read by and about him.

10. What do you love most about Cleveland’s independent classical music scene?
I wouldn’t call it a scene – I’d call it a community. Last year, we wanted to put on a recital, and we had our friends come play with us. It wasn’t about competition for gigs or filling time; it was about community both for the audience and for the members. I think the Cleveland Orchestra drew us to Cleveland, but the musical community keeps us here.

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