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Sno Valley winds brings holiday cheer to Valley ears

The Sno Valley Winds get a second chance to shine this holiday season, taking the stage in a number of performances.

The Winds, a community band made up of Snoqualmie Valley residents, is the brainchild of Snoqualmie Middle School music director Dean Snavely.

Last year, they practiced for weeks but never got to give their first holiday show.

"We got killed from the weather and missed our Christmas performance due to the snow and floods," Snavely said.

But after the holiday season was over, Snavely said band members wanted to keep the music coming. They decided to make the group an official organization.

Players range in age from the younger 20s, to 80. When the Winds formed, some hadn't played in decades. Members dusted off their instruments and discovered they could still carry a tune.

"I heard all the time from people is that it's been way too long since they've played, and it's not true," Snavely said. "Most people remember how to play and every person that comes back gets back to playing again."

Making up for last year's missed opportunity, the Winds are going all out and will give four different performances throughout the month of December.

Upcoming shows include drop-in performances at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Factory Stores at North Bend, 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Si View Bazaar and a final holiday concert, Friday, Dec. 11, at Mount Si Lutheran Church.

Snavely is ecstatic about that show, noting that the church is a nicer venue, more intimate than the Mount Si High School auditorium.

"It will be a fun, nice concert," he said.

Besides the full band, there will be performances by a brass quintet and a small ensemble of flutists.

Even with his busy schedule, Snavely can't give up playing his tuba and watching people have fun playing their instruments.

"One of our flute players quit in junior high. She jumped in and it's really cool to see," he said.

"One of my goals is to give a musical identity to the Valley," Snavely said. "My hope is that, eventually, this band is tied in and is synonymous to Snoqualmie Valley. I want it to become a well-known community standard."

For more information on Sno Valley Winds holiday performances visit www.snovalleywinds.org.

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