Indoor winds brings home state title


Ning Kongjeen, Reporter

Coming off of an incredible summer marching season, the KHS indoor winds had high hopes for its winter season. This is the seventh year the ensemble has been in existence. Director Justin Ekstrom has led the group since its inception. 

“Mr. Pinson first proposed the idea of starting an Indoor Winds group in the fall of 2016. Knowing my passion for the marching arts, he asked me if I would like to lead this new endeavor within Kokomo Bands, and I said yes!” Ekstrom said. 

This year’s show, Red Riding Hood, follows the well-known character through a forest filled with wolves.

“This season’s show tells the story of Little Red Riding Hood as she journeys through the forest, while many malicious eyes lurk through the trees. First the sinister wolves attempt to grab her with aggression, then try to draw her in with a welcoming smile, and then attempt to capture her as she makes her escape,” said member Nolan Crawford.

The Indoor Winds won the IPA Winds Scholastic A State title on Saturday, March 18. The state title was the exclamation point on a season of firsts for the group.

“This ensemble had never won a competition before this season, so to win two in a row was a fantastic feeling that gave us a lot of momentum when the time came to learn the rest of the show,” Ekstrom said.

Junior member Carly Stepler agreed.

“The highlight of our indoor winds season so far was the first competition at Norwell High School. As a program for the first time ever we placed first in our division and outscored the group that beat us by 0.025 at the 2022 State Finals,” she said.

Throughout the season, the ensemble hoped to build on the things that made them successful over the summer.

“After a successful summer season ended with State Champion recognition, our goal for the indoor season was to take all the things that made us successful in the summer and capitalize on our students’ ability to achieve those demands,” Ekstrom said. “Our goal is to perform an enjoyable show that we can confidently say is our best each and every time.”

You can see this award-winning show on Thursday, March 23 at Memorial Gym for the 2023 Winter Showcase. In addition to Indoor Winds, Indoor Percussion, Winter Guard, Jazz Band, Show Choir, and the Dance Team will perform at the showcase. 

“Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Pre-sale tickets help our members raise the funds needed to compete in a season,” Ekstrom said.