W&M Wind Ensemble


Welcome to the web home of the William & Mary Wind Ensemble. The Wind Ensemble brings together some of the College’s most talented wind, brass, and percussion players to perform the finest wind music from a repertoire that spans the 16th through the 21st centuries. Membership in the Wind Ensemble is open to all undergraduate and graduate students (music majors & non-music majors) by audition at the beginning of the school year.

Founded in 1929, the Wind Ensemble performs 3-4 times each semester in various venues on campus and in the community.  In March 2015, the group gave a special concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  The program included two world premieres:  Margins Afterwards by Brian Hulse featuring William & Mary faculty soloist, David Vonderheide and Dabke by 2014-2015 Artist-in-Residence, Kareem Roustam.  In April 2016, the Wind Ensemble gave the Virginia premiere of James Stephenson’s there are no words, dedicated to the victims of the June 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. In 2018, the group premiered original arrangements of the music of Maria Faust, an Estonian composer/saxophonist and four-time Danish Music Award winner.

IMG_0343Each spring, the Wind Ensemble tours a particular area of the country decided upon by members of the group.  The group has traveled to New York, Miami, Nashville, Charleston, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.  In May 2015, with support from the U.S./China Cultural and Educational Foundation and the Reves Center for International Studies, the Wind Ensemble embarked on an international tour to China which included performances in Beijing, Shaoxing, Jiaxing, and Shanghai.  Members of the ensemble also engaged in special service learning projects including a joint performance with younger Chinese music students. In May 2018, the Wind Ensemble completed a 10-day tour of the United Kingdom.  The group gave performances at the High School of Dundee (Scotland), the National Centre for Early Music (York, England), and St. George’s Church, Bloomsbury (London) and participated in a workshop with Adam Gorb, Head of Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music.

The Wind Ensemble performed for the inauguration of Gene Nichol, William & Mary’s twenty-sixth president and the investiture of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, William & Mary’s twenty-third Chancellor and the inauguration of Katherine A. Rowe, William & Mary’s twenty-eighth (and first female) president and the re-investiture of Chancellor Robert Gates.  The group recently recorded its first-ever CD with Centaur Records featuring commissioned works by William & Mary composer Brian Hulse and was featured prominently in the original score of 923 Films’ motion picture, Hogtown which premiered in September 2014 at the Calgary Film Festival.

View the video below to learn more about the organization’s early history.

The Wind Ensemble:

Who can join?

Enrollment in the Wind Ensemble is open to all undergraduate and graduate students of the College of William & Mary.

How do I join?

Participation in the Wind Ensemble requires an audition at the start of the Fall Semester (and the start of the Spring Semester if a vacancy is announced).

For audition requirements, visit the auditions page.

What is Chamber Winds?

Students auditioning for the Wind Ensemble who wish to participate in a rich chamber music experience are invited to join the Chamber Winds. The Chamber Winds’ repertoire focuses on ensemble music written for fewer than 15 players — including the great chamber works of Strauss, Dvořák, Stravinsky, Mozart, and others.

When are rehearsals?

The Wind Ensemble meets from 4:00 – 6:00 pm Mondays and Wednesdays, and a few Fridays from 4:00 – 5:00 pm each semester.  Chamber Winds rehearsals take place on Fridays from 4:00 – 5:00 pm.

When are the concerts?

Concerts are traditionally held on one weekend in September, October, December, March, and April.

Does Wind Ensemble go on Tours?

Yes! Every year, the Wind Ensemble goes on a spring tour to travel to a place determined by the members of the Wind Ensemble.

The Wind Ensemble Experience:

The Wind Ensemble is a curricular class, designated MUSC E03 in the Banner system.  It is worth one academic credit and can also fulfill the College’s GER 6 requirement.

Intrinsically speaking, the Wind Ensemble also provides a way to grow your musical talent throughout your William & Mary experience.  Apart from musical activities, the Wind Ensemble maintains its own intramural sports teams, holds regular Music Department social events, and more.

The William & Mary Wind Ensemble is the premiere wind performance experience at the College of William & Mary.  If you are seeking a great opportunity to enjoy preparing and performing first-rate repertoire and work with great musicians, this ensemble is for you.

Click here to access the Wind Ensemble Constitution