Member Handbook

 Revised 06/28/2020


Southwest Civic Winds is a diverse group of musicians with the shared goal of keeping the culture of symphonic bands alive in the Four Corners community. Established in 2012 by Dr. Mark Walters and Ruth M. Katzin, SWCW presently has an average of 60 performers at each concert. The full symphonic instrumentation allows us to play diverse, exciting, and challenging literature.


SWCW offers side-by-side performance opportunities for area high school student musicians. The SWCW provides the community with a professional, mature, nurturing environment for musicians who contribute their time and talents.


As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Southwest Civic Winds' mission is to establish a cultural resource for the communities in the Four Corners. To meet this goal we strive to:


  • Provide an opportunity for adult musicians to rehearse and perform quality symphonic band literature while developing their musical skills through ensemble performance;

  • Provide musical programs of the highest standards for audiences throughout the Four Corners;

  • Present each musician with an opportunity to experience a positive and creative outlet with social interaction;

  • Preserve the rich heritage that community bands have long provided to communities by entertaining the general public through live performances and by providing a source of cultural pride for the citizens of the southwest.


The Southwest Civic Winds is governed by a Board of Directors that is responsible for the business and cultural affairs of the Civic Winds. The Board of Directors is comprised of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and officers-at-large. Please review the Southwest Civic Winds By-Laws for specifics on the governing officers' duties and responsibilities.

Current Board Members:

Ruth Katzin-Kilpatrick, President, Co-founder

Daniel Fear, Vice-President and Social Media

May Koenig, Secretary

Bob Waggoner, Treasurer and Cortez Representative

Charles Baltzer

Holly Begay, Historian

Paul Boyer, Sponsorships

Diann Cates, Website and Projects Coordinator

Elizabeth Crawford, Grant Writer

Tim Esposito, Volunteer Coordinator

Priscilla Lukens, Music Librarian

Kevin Martin, Percussion Coordinator

Karen Mesikapp 

Jan Patton, Membership

Rodney Ritthaler

Scott West, Sponsorships

Jared Wright, Director Civic Winds Jazz Orchestra

Mark Walters, Artistic Director Laureate, Co-founder



Literature Selection: Concert literature for each season is chosen by the Artistic Director. Any comments on literature selection should be directed in writing to the Artistic Director. 

Distribution: The Librarian distributes the music via email about a month before our first rehearsal. It is the member’s responsibility to print it, and bring it to rehearsals. Please contact the Librarian if you have problems receiving the music.



Attendance: Group rehearsal time is limited and valuable. It is vital that members attend all rehearsals. If you have an emergency situation preventing you from attending, please contact the Artistic Director. A musician may be removed from the roster at the Director’s discretion for lack of attendance or for last-minute withdrawals from a concert event.

Transportation: You are responsible for your own transportation and travel expenses. Carpooling is encouraged.  For your convenience, the Membership Chair can provide a roster of musicians by location for each concert event.

Instruments: Individual musicians are responsible for their own instruments, with the exception of large percussion equipment. Contact your section leader with any rental or accessory questions you may have.



Concert Schedule: The SWCW performs a 3 to 4 concert events annually at various venues throughout the Four Corners Region. Generally, these concert events are held in November, February, May, and July. The SWCW will notify you of the yearly rehearsal and performance dates with as much advance notice as possible.

Concert Attire:  Outdoor concerts: white tops and black bottoms. Attire may be casual, yet professional.  Indoor concerts: concert black. Ladies, ¾ or long sleeves, calf length or long skirt or dress, or dress pants, and black hose and black shoes. Gentlemen: black slacks, shoes and socks, long-sleeved black collared shirt (no tee shirts). Questions about attire can be directed to section leaders.



Based on a musician’s prior performance experience, an audition may be required for membership into the ensemble. For advanced musicians, this audition may also be used to evaluate your level of playing for higher placement in the section. Audition material will be selected by the director and may be reviewed by an audition committee appointed by the director.  



Adult wind and percussion players interested in joining may request a membership application from the Membership Chair, or online at "Interested in Joining?", to be submitted for approval by the Artistic Director. Southwest Civic Winds is a membership organization and, like similar volunteer musical ensembles, may charge membership dues if necessary. All members are encouraged to become Supporting Members by making a tax-deductible contribution to the band of $50 or more. There are no additional fees for participation in multiple Southwest Civic Winds ensembles.

Section Leaders

The section leader is an asset to the director and a resource for the performers.  Section leaders are assigned by the Director for each rehearsal/concert event. He or she will assist the Director by answering rehearsal and concert related questions or any other responsibilities deemed necessary by the Director. The section leader will help build camaraderie within its members. The name of your section leader will be given to you at the time of music distribution. If you have any questions regarding your section leader, please contact the Membership Chair.



Code of Conduct: SWCW operates absolutely and completely without discrimination. The use of alcohol or mind altering drugs is prohibited at all SWCW rehearsals and performances.  All band members will show respect to each other and the audience. Band members are representatives of Southwest Civic Winds and will conduct themselves in a professional manner.

Communications and Procedures: Members are encouraged to take all questions or comments to their section leaders or to members of the board.  Any actions, proposals or undertakings on behalf of the Southwest Civic Winds must be reviewed and accepted by the Board of Directors prior to implementation. A written description should be presented to the Board for approval well in advance. All actions, proposals or undertakings shall not interfere with nor affect the normal operations of the Southwest Civic Winds schedule.

SWCW Ensembles:  Instrumental sections of the Southwest Civic Winds may choose to form ensembles for their own pleasure, for possible performances at SWCW concerts, or for volunteering at hospitals, assisted living homes, senior centers, and the like. All presentations or performances under the name of Southwest Civic Winds must be comprised of members in good standing. The Board’s Small Ensemble Committee, consulting with the Artistic Director, must approve all presentations and performances under the name of Southwest Civic Winds. All ensembles will meet the performance and professional standards set forth for the Southwest Civic Winds.

Player Representation: If you are interested in being an ensemble representative at the SWCW Board Meetings, please notify any board member.

Volunteers are Needed: Southwest Civic Winds needs volunteers to help with concert set-up, breakdown, and other related chores. There will be a sign up sheet at rehearsals. Family members are also welcome to sign up.

Press Release Form:  By participating in this ensemble, you authorize The Southwest Civic Winds to publish any video or photograph taken of you while in rehearsals or any performances of the ensemble for advertisements and promotional purposes.

The Southwest Civic Winds Handbook will be reviewed and revised by the Board of Directors annually or as needed.


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