The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Band Program is comprised of six different performing ensembles: the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Band, University Band, Panther Basketball Band, and the two Youth Wind Ensembles.
Throughout its history, the musicians in the band program have had the privilege of working with leading conductors, composers, and instrumentalist in the field. Guest composers have included such names as Vincent Persichetti, Karel Husa, Samuel Adler, Fisher Tull, John Mackey, Joseph Schwantner, Warren Benson and Ron Nelson. Noted conductors who have led performances include James Croft, Jack Delaney, Mark Scatterday, Craig Kirchoff, Lucian Calliet, and Colonel John R. Bourgeios among others. The bands also collaborate frequently with UWM faculty artists and other distinguished soloists. Guest artists/performers have included Elena Abend, piano; Greg Flint, horn; Beth Giocabassi, bassoon; Kevin Hartman, trumpet; Todd Levy, clarinet; Jonathan Monhardt, composer; Theodore Soluri, bassoon; Carl Storniolo, Thomas Schlueter, trumpet; Patrick Sheridan, tuba; Alan Baer, tuba; Dennis Najoom, trumpet; Steve Houghton, percussion; Randall Eyles, marimba; Charles Vernon, trombone.
In addition to recordings, tours, and outreach activities, the UWM Bands have sponsored and participated in numerous commissioning projects over the years. National and regional conference appearances have brought tremendous recognition to the music department as well as the gifted musicians who comprise the wind-band program.
The Wind Ensemble is the premier concert band in the Peck School of the Arts Department of Music. Membership is selected from among the finest woodwind, brass, and percussion performers at the university. The Wind Ensemble was honored with an invitation to perform at the prestigious College Band Directors National Association conference in Greensboro, North Carolina on March 22, 2013. In addition, they will perform at the Wisconsin Music Educators Association Conference in Madison on October 25, 2012.
The Symphony Band ranks as one of the finest of its kind, having performed with a number of distinguished composers and performers throughout the past three decades. Comprised primarily of music majors, the ensemble provides a wide range of repertoire and performs approximately six concerts each year. The Symphony Band is also involved in educational clinics, commissioning projects and can be heard on several compact disc recordings.
The University Band is comprised largely of non-music majors who represent nearly every academic discipline on campus. The ensemble enables non-majors to perform during their college careers. University Band students earn valuable college credit, and at the same time perform challenging music while taking a break from the rigors of university life.
Panther Basketball Band
The UWM Panther (Pep) Band performs at each home Men’s and Women’s Basketball games. Membership is open to any student by audition, and who is also enrolled in any Department of Music large ensemble. Panther Band regularly travels for the Horizon League and NCAA National Basketball Championships. In addition to performing at games, students earn a stipend for each service they perform with Panther Band!
Youth Wind Ensembles
Founded in 1982 by Professor Emeritus Thomas Dvorak, the Youth Wind Ensemble program is recognized as one of the premier youth band programs in the country. The ensemble draws its membership from high school and junior high school band programs in Southeastern Wisconsin. The Youth Wind Ensemble program has distinguished itself through commissioning projects, recordings and national and international performances.