The UNCG Wind Ensemble is a highly select concert band of fifty performers majoring in music at the UNCG School of Music. Performers range from freshmen through masters and doctoral candidates in music performance and music education. Membership in the organization is highly competitive. These students have achieved numerous individual honors including solo competition awards on regional and national levels, music scholarships, undergraduate teaching fellowships, graduate assistantships and fellowships, teaching positions in music at all levels including college, membership in all-state bands, as well as professional performing credentials in orchestras, top military bands and professional quintets. Performers in the current UNCG Wind Ensemble are drawn from seventeen states, Slovenia, and Hong Kong.
The UNCG Wind Ensemble has enjoyed a distinguished record of performance over the past decade. In January 1992, the UNCG Wind Ensemble performed “A Tribute to John Philip Sousa” to a capacity crowd of 2,700 at the Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Twice, the Wind Ensemble earned critical acclaim from The Washington Post following concerts in the nation’s capital. The Wind Ensemble has performed throughout the eastern United States in recent years including the first-ever performance, in 1987, by a North Carolina collegiate ensemble in Lincoln Center, New York City. The Wind Ensemble performed that same year in West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Compact discs of the Wind Ensemble have received widespread praise and are commercially available — sforzando! (1995), vivo! (1996), celebration! (1997), begian! (1997), fantasy! (1998), A Tribute to Sousa – Live! (2000), internal combustion! (2001), equus! (2001), october! (2002), whirr! (2002), sunrise! (2003), aurora! (2004), ra! (2005), comet the wonderdog! (2006), premieres! (2007), fireworks! (2009), finish line! (2011), arts and letters (2014), and Stories and Sanctuaries (2015).
In 1985, the Wind Ensemble performed a series of concerts with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer-conductor Karel Husa. In 1988, the UNCG Wind Ensemble performed in New Orleans, Louisiana by invitation of the College Band Directors National Association for the Southern Division convention. On a number of occasions, the Wind Ensemble has commissioned and premiered works from leading band composers. In November of 1990, the Wind Ensemble performed for the Southern Division of MENC convention. In February 1994, the UNCG Wind Ensemble performed for a convention of the CBDNA and NBA in Williamsburg, Virginia. In March 1999, the Wind Ensemble performed for the national convention of the American Bandmasters Association in Melbourne, Florida. In February 2000, the Wind Ensemble performed for the CBDNA Southern Division Convention hosted here at UNCG. In 2006, the Wind Ensemble performed in The Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland, shared a concert with the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Arlington, Virginia, and collaborated with Karel Husa, David Dzubay, and Carter Pann in the performaces of their music, including two commissions. In 2009, the Wind Ensemble performed at the CBDNA National Convention at the University of Texas at Austin and performed additional concerts in Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas during a week-long tour. The Wind Ensemble performed at the 2011 National Convention of the American Bandmasters Association and the 2013 National Conference of the College Band Directors National Association hosted in Greensboro. Most recently, the UNCG took a twelve day concert tour through the Czech Republic, Austria, and Italy, the highlight of which was a concert in Prague’s famed Dvořák Hall.
The UNCG Symphonic Band is a select ensemble of approximately 55 music majors, chosen by audition, who join together to perform two concerts each semester. The Symphonic Band provides a challenging musical environment for skilled performers by performing repertoire that includes works for chamber winds, standards of the band literature, and brand new works for the medium. Faculty soloists are frequently featured in performance with the ensemble.
The University Band is comprised of approximately 85 musicians, both music majors and non-majors, who join together to perform two concerts each semester. This ensemble is dedicated to broadening the artistic level and interest of its members while performing challenging music of artistic and historical significance. Membership in University Band is open to the entire campus community and offers a great opportunity to enjoy an immersive musical experience.
Casella Sinfonietta was created as an enhancement to the large ensemble offerings in the UNCG School of Music. Performing a range of works for 6 to 18 players, from the Renaissance period through world premieres, the ensemble functions on a professional model and performs one concert each semester. The personnel for each semester is determined by the repertoire, allowing the finest performers on wind, brass, string, percussion, and keyboard instruments the highest-level experience possible. Faculty and guest soloists and composers frequently collaborate with the ensemble.