Blue Lake International Southern Winds

The 2021 International 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 five-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. Tentative countries for the 2021 International Southern Winds are Germany, Luxembourg, and France.

2021 International Southern Winds
Cynthia Swan-Eagan and Michael Eagan, Co-Musical Directors

Cynthia Swan-EaganCynthia Swan-Eagan has just recently retired, after her 36th year of teaching, and her 34th as the director of bands for the Manistee Area Public Schools, having graduated from Western Michigan University and VanderCook College of Music with a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Music Education. She received national recognition from Chamber Music America in 1992 for Outstanding Chamber Music Teaching, and has been cited by the Manistee Board of Education and the Manistee County Foundation for teaching excellence. She was named the Michigan Band Teacher of the Year for 2000 by the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association. She received Chicago’s VanderCook College of Music’s Music Education Leadership Award in December of 2006, VanderCook College’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007, and received Western Michigan University’s 2011 Pioneer Music Educator Award – the first non-faculty member of WMU to do so! She has served three terms as the Michigan President of the American School Band Director’s Association, culminating in being elected National Treasurer and National President of that organization. She has been a conductor with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp since 1987, and has also done guest lecturing with Western Michigan University and Central Michigan University, the Michigan Music Conference, the MSBOA Survival Camp, Adjudicator Workshop, and Elementary Music Workshop. She was the Michigan School Band and Orchestra President, and a founding member of the Michigan Music Conference Board.


Michael Eagan.jpg Michael Eagan, currently in his 40th year in education, is a graduate of Georgia State University and in 1985, completed his Master’s Degree at VanderCook College in Chicago. Mike began his career in Clayton County, Ga. and has since taught at the elementary, middle school, junior high, senior high and college level. For the past twenty four years he has served as the director of bands in the Benzie County schools, a position from which he recently retired. Mike’s bands have presented invitational performances at the GMEA State Conference, the University of Georgia High School Music Clinic, the Midwestern Conference in Ann Arbor, MI, and the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. He has conducted honors bands in Michigan, Georgia, New York and Ohio and each summer, he conducts a band at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. In 2000, Mike was named the “Outstanding Person in Education” for the Benzie County Schools and in 2007, he was selected as the statewide “Teacher of the Year” for Band in Michigan. In 2012, Mike was the conductor of the Georgia All State Band. He is a past state president of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association and served fourteen years on the VanderCook College Board of Trustees.


Blue Lake En France

A unique part of Blue Lake’s International Southern Winds tour, Blue Lake en France is a week long collaboration combining French and American student musicians and conductors.   All participants live, eat, rehearse and have recreation together, supporting Blue Lake’s mission of international understanding through the arts.   The charming and historic village of Figeac, France is the setting for this one of a kind opportunity, and the Lions Club of Figeac is the host for the event.

The BLEF program, now 20 years old, allows students, American and French alike, the opportunity to make friends that will last a lifetime, while creating a wide variety of internationally acclaimed music under the batons of both French and American conductors.