Rhythm and Winds Rhythm X’s Tim Fairbanks looks ahead to 2015 By Michael Boo
As director and visual designer for Rhythm X, Tim Fairbanks knows what it takes to run a successful indoor marching percussion group. This year, Fairbanks—who shares his expertise in WGI’s recently released Indoor Percussion Top Secrets instructional DVD—will add to his already full plate with the launch of X Winds. We caught up with him as preseason preparation was underway.
Director and Visual Designer, Rhythm X
“We’re not sure where the Winds activity will go—but we know it’s going to be amazing.” 18 wgi focus
color guard to the show—though that might be a great choice for other groups. ➧ Do you approach show design and writing for each division the same way, in terms of general effect, pacing, etc.? Yes, the two are almost identical in that regard.
➧ How will Rhythm X connect the two activities for 2015? Both are sharing administration, design staff, trucks, and facilities, as well as many of our amazing sponsors. All members of X Winds are treated as members of Rhythm X and will participate in all Rhythm X traditions. Since WGI Winds has no age limit, X Winds includes some Rhythm X alums.
➧ What are you looking forward to the most about the new division? The fun thing is, with no precedents, we’re not sure where the Winds activity will go. We know it’s going to be amazing. It’s been fun to put together a show purely based on what we think could be awesome. We’ve named our show “Uncharted Territory,” about striking out into unfamiliar waters and charting our path as we progress through the season.
➧ How will preparing for WGI’s Winds Division differ from Indoor Percussion? WGI Winds has no limitations on instruments, and, unlike percussion—where there are years of performances to watch—there are few shows to reference if one is starting a Winds group.
➧ What music are you using? Music is primarily from Peter Graham’s “Harrison’s Dream,” inspired by the story of English clockmaker John Harrison, who invented the Marine Chronometer to accurately measure longitude at sea. Not only is it a wonderful piece of music, it
➧ Experienced percussion groups know what works and what doesn’t in that division. But with Winds so new, how do you think organizations will approach the season? There will likely be different approaches to Winds instrumentation. Some small schools may combine their programs, with a horn line, drums, pit, and color guard all participating. Others might feature all brass or all woodwinds, or even big band jazz instrumentation. ➧ What about your group? We’re going with a small rhythm section of drum set, guitar, synthesizer, and auxiliary percussion in the back, with no marching percussion. There are approximately 20 brass and 12 woodwinds. We want the wind players to be the primary focus and won’t be adding any battery instrument or
Tim Fairbanks gives instruction in a segment of WGI’s percussion top secrets dvd.
will highlight the strengths of X Winds while expressing the “Uncharted Territory” concept. ➧ What was the goal of the Top Secrets series? The DVD is a great resource for new designers to learn the details that add up to a great show. ➧ Finally, what’s your top secret for winds? The only “top secret” is there are no secrets. Everyone is figuring it out and I can’t wait to see what all the Winds groups will bring to WGI! www.wgi.org
The 2015 winter issue of WGI's FOCUS magazine. Featuring Arcadia High School, Tim Fairbanks, and much more.