The Wind Ensemble performs a series of five concerts each year in Shryock Auditorium, including a performance at the annual Heartland Honor Bands and Choir Festival each February, and travels regularly on regional, national, and international tours. In April 2006, the Wind Ensemble and SIUC Concert Choir performed at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield, Illinois; in January 2007, the Wind Ensemble was invited to perform at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference in Peoria, Illinois; in March 2008, the Wind Ensemble gave their Carnegie Hall debut as part of the 2008 New York Band and Orchestra Festival; in May 2009, the Wind Ensemble and Concert Choir gave a concert tour of the People's Republic of China; in March 2011, the Wind Ensemble hosted world-renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn; in April 2011, the Wind Ensemble and Concert Choir performed at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Illinois; and in May 2012 and May 2016, members of the Wind Ensemble and Concert Choir spent three weeks in Dublin, Ireland, in residence at the Gaiety School of Acting: The National Theater School of Ireland, developing and performing an original theater concert project.
Auditions for the Wind Ensemble are held the first week of the fall semester.
Wind Ensemble performs at Orchestra Hall and hosts world-renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie
In April 2011, SIUC Wind Ensemble and Concert Choir performed at Orchestra Hall in Chicago as part of Chancellor Rita Cheng's inauguration. This was the first performance by either ensemble in this historic hall. The Wind Ensemble and Concert Choir gave the world premiere of School of Music faculty Kathleen Ginther's The River Merchant's Wife, with soloist, Emily Fons, School of Music alumna, as well as performed Scott McAllister's Freebirds, with Dr. Eric Mandat, School of Music faculty, and Paul Petrucelly, School of Music alumnus.
In March 2011, the Wind Ensemble hosted Dame Evelyn Glennie on campus for a four-day residency. Dame Evelyn attended the film viewing of Touch the Sound, delivered a University Honors Program lecture, and gave a masterclass for students in the School of Music. The residency culminated in a concert with the Wind Ensemble in Shryock Auditorium. The concert included the world premiere (wind version) of Sean Beeson's Prometheus Rapture: Seven Legends for Snare Drum and Joseph Schwantner's Percussion Concerto.
Wind Ensemble and Concert Choir tour the People's Republic of China (Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai)
The Concert Choir and Wind Ensemble were invited by the InterCulture Association to travel to the People’s Republic of China in May 2009 for an international concert tour and cultural exchange. This performance experience builds upon both ensembles’ recent regional and national performances at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference, Central Kentucky Arts Series, and Carnegie Hall. A number of the performances took place on university campuses and in formal concert halls, including exchanges with local students and faculty. Additionally, the students experienced China’s rich culture and history, including visits to the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and Terra Cotta Warriors, among many others.
Wind Ensemble gives Carnegie Hall debut
The Wind Ensemble was invited to give their Carnegie Hall debut on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 as part of the 2008 New York Band and Orchestra Festival. The Wind Ensemble was one of only two showcase ensembles selected by competitive audition to give an exhibition performance at the culmination of the festival; the other ensemble was the Northamptonshire Orchestral Winds from England. The concert featured several SIUC faculty soloists and performers: Jeanine Wagner, soprano, Suzanne Lord, flute, Edward Benyas, oboe, Eric Mandat, clarinet, Melissa Mackey, bassoon, and Jennifer Presar, horn.
The performance venue, the Issac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage, is the largest hall at Carnegie Hall and has been the premier classical music performance space in the United States since its opening in 1891, showcasing the world's greatest soloists, conductors, and ensembles. To exemplify the importance of this world-class performance venue, throughout the month leading up to our concert, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Philadelphia Orchestra performed on the very same stage!