The highly selective Purdue Wind Ensemble, directed by Jay S. Gephart, includes the finest instrumentalists on the Purdue campus. Its membership is determined through auditions at the beginning of the academic year, and usually numbers around 50 wind, brass and percussion players.
This ensemble presents formal concerts on campus each semester, and historically boasts an impressive record of performances around the world including Canada, Japan, South America and Europe as well as the United States. In March of 2006, the Wind Ensemble made its Carnegie Hall debut as the Showcase Band at the New York Wind Band Festival and in 2012 performed at the national American Bandmaster's Association conference held in Indianapolis. Its rich history also includes performances under the baton of some of the world’s finest conductors ranging from John Philip Sousa to Arthur Fiedler, and from Karl King to Harry Begian.
Performances of the Wind Ensemble have featured nationally recognized guest soloists as well as solo performances by the Purdue Applied Music faculty. Recent soloists have included Susan Rider, trumpet, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band; Patrick Sheridan, freelance musician and internationally famous tuba virtuoso; Rex Richardson, former member of Dallas Brass and professor of trumpet at Virginia Commonwealth University. Guest composers the band has worked with include Frank Ticheli, Timothy Mahr, David Holsinger, Robert Jager, David Gillingham, Philip Sparke and Roger Cichy. In 2011, the band performed the world premiere of "Anthems" by award winning composer Steven Bryant. Bryant was commissioned to write the piece in celebration of the 125th Anniversary of Purdue Bands.
The curriculum for the Wind Ensemble consists of wind literature representative of the genre throughout the 20th century. Special emphasis is placed on the performance of contemporary literature written by prominent and emerging composers in the field of wind composition. Additional emphasis is placed on the historical development of music through the performance of transcriptions of orchestral masterworks.
Wind Ensemble membership is determined through auditions conducted each semester. Participants earn two hours of academic credit each semester.
Interested in joining the Purdue Wind Ensemble?