The W&J Wind Ensemble is open without audition to all students regardless of skill level. The ensemble gives typically two concerts each semester in the Olin Fine Arts Center auditorium, including the popular holiday concert.
The group of 25 to 35 students performs a variety of music, from arrangements of classical masterpieces and staples of the band repertory to distinctive film music and pops. In recent seasons, the ensemble has performed Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams; George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with music department chair Mark Swift; and an arrangement of Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony “From the New World.” Popular selections have included the theme to Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman. In addition to playing the core literature, the ensemble commissioned and gave the world premiere of Les Nimpheas by Boston composer Oliver Caplan in 2009. The Wind Ensemble frequently combines with other W&J ensembles and world music groups including a gamelan band.
The Ensemble consists primarily of wind instruments though all musicians regardless of instrument are invited to participate. The Wind Ensemble rehearses on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. Students who would like to participate must register and take the course for credit (1/4 course per semester). Students are evaluated on attendance and active participation during rehearsals and performances.
Listen to the Wind Ensemble online at YouTube and SoundCloud, where selections can be streamed or downloaded.