Columbia Festival of Winds 2020

The Columbia University Wind Ensemble is excited to announce the Twelfth Annual Columbia Festival of Winds, a daylong concert band showcase featuring University and community bands from around the New York City area. It will begin with a guest conductor directing the Honor Band, a group of talented high school musicians selected by audition, then continue with performances by each of the participating ensembles (including college groups, community groups, and youth groups). Following the performance of each of the participating groups, the Festival will close with a massed band performance, where all musicians will be invited to play together. This year's guest conductor will be Professor Christopher Cicconi of Towson University.


CUWE is excited to work with the Musical Mentors Collaborative (MMC) to improve its previous music education outreach program, Making Music Matter (MMM). The MMC is a nonprofit organization of Columbia students who dedicate part of their week to giving private music lessons to students at PS 145, while MMM served PS 125. Though their program has been very successful, they have lacked the necessary funding for instruments and supplies; CUWE donates profits from the Festival of Winds to the MMC each year to help keep the group running.

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The goal of the Columbia Festival of Winds is to build on the success of previous years and continue to provide children with the opportunity to discover their musical talents. The Columbia University Wind Ensemble seeks to maintain this real and positive change for inner-city students and believes that the Festival can continue to bring instruments, music, and learning to schools without music programs.

The Festival will be held in Alfred Lerner Hall at Columbia University (2920 Broadway, New York, NY, 10027), with tickets available online and at the door.  More details about guest ensembles and the timing of the concert will be available on this site as the event approaches.

Columbia University Wind Ensemble

Columbia University Wind Ensemble is one of the Tri-State Area’s premier collegiate wind ensembles. Founded in the 1930s and revived in 1998, it has grown from a core membership of fifteen players to a full wind ensemble of almost fifty musicians, performing both standard and new wind ensemble repertoire. In 2002, Andrew Pease entered as conductor and music director. Because of his dedicated work, Mr. Pease has increased the group's recognition throughout Columbia and New York City. 

In 2013, Jason Noble became the new conductor and music director of the Wind Ensemble. In addition to his duties at Columbia University, Noble currently serves as Conductor and Director of the Wind Ensemble at Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, New York, and as an Adjunct Professor of Music Education at Montclair State University. He is in frequent and high demand as a conductor, lecturer, and music performance adjudicator across the United States and abroad. Noble is also an executive board member and adjudicator for the Central States Judges Association (CSJA), one of the nation’s premier musical adjudication organizations. 

In 2009, the Wind Ensemble produced two new programs: the Columbia Festival of Winds (CFW), an all-day concert promoting wind band performances, and Making Music Matter, now known as Musical Mentors Collaborative (MMC), a music-education program at P.S. 125 in which Columbia students provide free music lessons to the elementary school students. In recent years, the Columbia University Wind Ensemble has also begun commissioning pieces, including Michael DiGiacinto's Soundscape (2006), Erik Jorgen Jorgensen's Chaconne (2007), and Oliver Caplan’s Reason for Hope in a Complex World (2008). They have also had the honor of giving the NYC premiere of Frank Ticheli's Nitro in March 2007, the world premiere of Dr. Edward Green’s Overture in Eb in March 2010, and the USA premiere of Matt Klohs’ Dylan’s Song in November 2017. In March 2016, the ensemble returned to Carnegie Hall for the first time since its rebirth in 1998, performing a NYC premiere of Johan de Meij’s Downtown Divertimento. This return to Carnegie Hall was followed by a second performance in the spring of 2017.