As we return to Winds World Championships, we want to share some thoughts about performing in our two venues – WSU Nutter Center for Prelims and UD Arena for Finals. Our Regional venues are generally considerably smaller gymnasiums with a few exceptions.

We are not suggesting you alter your performances for the two shows (other than the use of amplification.) However, preparing your members during your final rehearsals will set them up for the best possible outcomes. Being aware and knowing what to expect regarding acoustics will certainly help achieve the most satisfactory show.

Some of the following comments relate to how things are seen and heard by the judges who are at farther distance than in most Regionals.

Based on our past Winds Championships, some groups perform and come across better in one venue OR the other.


Nutter Center – Prelims
• Lively, resonant acoustics – groups will sound fuller and have more dynamic impact
• Less clarity of intricate lines as the resonance tends to blur • More bass prominent – can be boomy
• High frequencies may be diminished somewhat

UD Arena – Finals
• Good balanced acoustics
• Less resonance (than WSU) a larger crowd also absorbs some of the sound
• More clarity of musical lines – however “there is no place to hide” as one judge stated


Nutter Center – Prelims
• Excellent lighting
• Seating is steep giving the judges an excellent perspective especially for layered and condensed forms

UD Arena – Finals
• Seems more intimate for the performers/audience
• Lighting – with the completion of the three year renovation project, it is expected that the lighting will be excellent
• The audience & judge perspective is not as steep (as WSU) so some layered forms may be hard to read especially in the larger groups


• Because of the variations in acoustics and venue size, it is imperative that a staff member monitor the sound (see Rule 4.2.2.) A Sound Engineer seat is reserved directly in front of the judge area. This is the judges’ perspective and can be radically different than trying to monitor the sound at any other location.
• In general, the Nutter Center needs to have the bass and mid-range at a lower setting and the highs boosted. It is a “boomy” room.
• UD Arena is a large venue but the actual used space by the audience (and judges) gives the room a more intimate feel than WSU.
• Be careful to keep the accompaniment in balance with the winds. Amplification being too loud is a frequent problem.
• Strive for clarity in the soundtrack


• The energy and excitement of Finals at UD Arena is memorable!
• Beware of the long and steep ramp down to the performance area.
• Finals at UD Arena can be intimidating to small and young groups. Prepare them for what to expect!
• One judge’s comment regarding UD Arena: “It’s a couple of steps up in terms of ‘ambience,’ perhaps mainly due to history of Pageantry activities and events that have been held there over the years. It feels like a “first class place.”

For future articles, it would be nice to have the perspective of performers on the floor in regards to music and visual. What did it sound like? How did the lighting affect them? How did the venue size and audience & seating arrangements affect them?

Please send comments to Wayne Markworth at