Savannah Winds History

In the late 1970’s the Armstrong State College band was struggling with a lack of music students to fill out a full concert band. After arriving on campus, Dr. James Anderson, former head of the Armstrong Department of Art, Music & Theatre, and Ed Caughran, former Chatham County Cultural Arts supervisor, decided that the problem could be solved by creating a performance outlet for experienced area musicians, high school musicians as well as Armstrong State College.

Dr. Anderson, previous Department Head for Art, Music & Theatre, agreed to fund the organization and the conductor. The Armstrong College Community Band was formed and Stephen Brandon served as the first director. Musicians from as far away as Hilton Head Island came to the weekly rehearsals. Today, the members come from all over the Coastal Empire and include community members of all ages and vocations.

After Mark Johnson joined the Armstrong Atlantic State University staff as Director of Bands, the name of the organization was changed to Savannah Winds. In 2004 the band chose a board of directors to determine the mission and goals of the organization and to assist in advising in its activities.

The Savannah Winds is grateful to Armstrong for continuing to support the group by providing the music director, music, and rehearsal/performance facilities.