SPIRIT WIND HISTORY
Spirit Wind: A 43-Year History
In 1978, the Northwest Texas Council on Youth Ministries of the United Methodist Church
began a senior high youth program that was originally conceived by Rev. Tom Nagle as a
youth musical/drama troupe. Spirit Wind comprised of 12 to 20 youth who
participated in the two-week summer program, initially directed by Mark Gaskell and Ann
In 1981, Bert Bostic assumed direction of the choir, and that year 24 youth participated.
Spirit Wind grew (in later years to approximately 150), and in 1988 Jon Johnson became co-
director. In 1992, the choir was selected as one of 12 choirs to sing for the Quadrennial General
Conference of the United Methodist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, thus marking Spirit Wind’s
first excursion out of Texas.
In July of 1995, Spirit Wind made its first international tour. The choir toured Great Britain,
performing concerts in London, Bristol, Exeter, Epworth, Loughborough, and Eastbourne.
In July of 1997, the choir traveled to the East Coast and performed in Atlanta, Georgia;
Jamestown and Williamsburg, Virginia; Washington DC; and Charleston, West Virginia. The
next international tour was to New Zealand in 2000. Along with members of the Midland-Odessa
Symphony Orchestra, the choir performed in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Rotorua, and
In July of 2003, Spirit Wind held concerts in California and sang the National Anthem at
Oakland Stadium. They also traveled to Renton, Washington; Victoria, British Columbia (where
they performed a full concert on the steps of Parliament Building), and Calgary, Alberta.
In July of 2006, the choir travelled to Boston and New York City, as well as Washington DC
and Charleston, West Virginia again.
In 2008, after 25 years of direction, Bert Bostic resigned and Wes Gomer served as interim director of the choir for the 2008 tour. Shortly thereafter, Catherine Bartoli assumed direction for one year. In 2010, Spirit Wind came under the direction of Dr. David Wallis, Associate Professor of Music at McMurry University.
In 2019, the Spirit Wind Board of Directors voted for Spirit Wind to become it's own entity and applied for non-profit status. The application was accepted and Spirit Wind became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The staff and the Board of Directors are very excited about the opportunities this will open up for Spirit Wind.