Blue Lake International Southern Winds

The 2017 Blue Lake Southern Winds is comprised of the instrumentation found in a traditional symphonic wind ensemble, with woodwind, brass and percussion sections. The group's repertoire will range from traditional American symphonic literature to orchestral transcriptions and classic marches, such as Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever.

The Southern Winds participate in the Blue Lake in France Program, where they are joined by approximately 30 French student musicians for a 5 day cultural residency in historic Figeac, France.

Each of the groups in the Blue Lake International Exchange Program will visit five to seven towns (hosting communities) in Europe. 

2017 International Southern Winds
John Heath, Music Director

Mr. John Heath received his Bachelor and Master Degrees in Music Education and Bachelor’s Degree in Tuba Performance from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he has completed course work on a doctorate in Music Education.  Recently retired, Mr. Heath was the director of the Batavia High School Bands, Batavia, Illinois for twenty-two years. Currently, he is an Adjunct Faculty member with the Northern Illinois University School of Music. Mr. Heath has received numerous honors including: 2014 Illinois Music Education Association Distinguished Service Award, 2004 Kane County, Illinois Regional Superintendent’s Award for Teaching Excellence, Illinois State Board of Education “Those Who Excel” Teaching Award, the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award, and Guest Conductor at Illinois Summer Youth Music Camp. He is a two-time recipient of the National Band Association Citation of Excellence.  Mr. Heath is a Past President of the Illinois Music Education Association, and has also served on the National Advisory Board for the University of Illinois School of Music. This past summer, Mr. Heath completed his twentieth year conducting in the band program at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. This will serve as Mr. Heath’s ninth tour as a conductor with the Blue Lake International Exchange Program.