Wind and Percussion Ensembles
The Department of Music provides performance opportunities for qualified wind and percussion players in five large ensembles. The Concert Band, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, two Jazz Bands, and the University Symphony Orchestra provide experience in a wide range of styles for university musicians. Each of these courses is available for credit as part of a music program or as a Fine Arts option for students in most of the University's faculties.
Symphonic Wind Ensemble
The Symphonic Wind Ensemble is a group of 50 of the University's most qualified musicians, directed by Dr Angela Schroeder. The Wind Ensemble performs the most serious and challenging wind band music available. With essentially one player to a part, the repertoire is largely music that was originally conceived for the wind band.
Recognized in national festivals and internationally, the Wind Ensemble performs four concerts a year, as well as several performances away from the campus and for special events. In addition, the Ensemble holds an annual Concerto Competition, offering students the opportunity to perform a solo concerto with the Wind Ensemble. The Wind Ensemble also hosts the Alberta High School Honour Band each spring, inviting students from across the province to come to campus to work with members of the Wind Ensemble as well as the University's applied instrumental faculty.
This large concert band has had a strong University tradition since the early 1960s, becoming a Department of Music ensemble in 1968. Directed by Wendy Grasdahl, the Band devotes itself to a wide range of band repertoire including show music, standard classics of the wind band repertory, and contemporary pieces. The band performs two concerts a year in Convocation Hall and a variety of other performances, both on and off campus. Auditions are required for all players.
MacEwan/University of Alberta Jazz Bands
Two big bands are organized each year, comprising students from MacEwan College and the University of Alberta. Directors are Professor Raymond Baril and Dr Tom Dust. The bands perform all styles of big band music, including many new compositions and arrangements. Opportunities for developing improvisation skills abound.
Orchestral Winds and Percussion
The Orchestral Winds and Percussion is made up of the most talented wind and percussion students in the Music Department and provides them with the opportunity to refine their ensemble skills at a professional level. The ensemble performs one concert each semester, featuring the highest calibre of chamber repertoire, and also makes up the wind and percussion sections of the University Symphony Orchestra.