Carolyn Barber, directorThe Wind Ensemble is the University's premiere concert band. Its select mission is to provide instrumentalists of advanced technical proficiency a pre-professional ensemble experience. During the academic year, the students perform a series of five or six concerts in Kimball Hall, including the annual Winter Festival for Winds and Percussion.
With an emphasis on 20th century American compositions, the Wind Ensemble's repertoire reflects the most recent technical and textural innovations, as well as the rich tradition of wind and percussion music extending back to the Renaissance. The ensemble is actively involved in commissioning new pieces, and composers are regularly in residence to work with the band. Some more recent collaborations include David Maslanka, Don Owens, Michael Daugherty, Andrew Rindfleisch, Carter Pann, Jonathan Newman, Richard Danielpour, Michael Torke, and James Syler.
The Wind Ensemble has performed on numerous occasions at regional, national and international conferences, garnering invitations from the College Band Directors National Association, Music Educators National Conference, the Nebraska Music Educators Association, the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association, the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (Schladming, Austria), and the International Society of Music Education (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). The Wind Ensemble has also been featured several times on Nebraska Public Radio, and on National Public Radio's Performance Today.
Although most members are music majors, there are no membership restrictions based on degree program. Membership is determined by a juried audition that takes place during the first week of classes in the fall, and again in December.