LA Winds search for a home

Room 3401 is no ordinary classroom on Monday nights.


Every Monday, the room is filled with chairs and music stands instead of desks, and the students are musicians who have found themselves without a space to play due to construction on campus.


The sounds of F sharps and D flats can be heard from the outside, while laughter and conversations fill the four walls of the room.


Los Angeles Pierce Symphonic Winds have called Pierce’s Performing Arts building home for many years. But with the building under construction, they are forced to find other locations that can accommodate a performance of 100 musicians.


Due to the ongoing construction work on the Performing Arts Building, the Winds have performed at Plaza del Sol Auditorium at California State University, Northridge, the Carlson Family Theater in Calabasas, the Scherr Theatre of the Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center and more.


“We are basically homeless,” said Chair of Music Department Steve Piazza, who is this season’s conductor of the Winds.


The Winds, also known as LAWinds, have played throughout America, and recently returned from performances in France and Germany.


The Winds are currently preparing for a performence during the California Band Directors Association Conference in Fresno Saturday, Feb. 18.


“It’s a big pain to move all the chairs and equipment… we rent a truck,” said Charles Fernandez, a Winds bassoon player and composer.


The situation has not only affected the Winds, but also their audience’s attendance in concerts.


“We have seen approximately a 20 percent decline in our subscribers as a result of not having a performance home on campus,” Piazza said.


The Performing Arts Theater is expected to be finished in January of 2013.


Christopher Els, a Winds percussion player, who plays many musical instruments – from the xylophone to the triangle, has mixed feelings about the Winds situation.


“It’s not great, I wish we had the theater,” Els said.


He does, however, enjoy the fact that they have the possibility to reach a “larger audience”.


While not having a place to call home has been difficult for the Winds, Piazza has embraced it and reminds the musicians that it is “the season for discovery.”




Learn more about the LA Winds at: