The Wind Symphony is made up of the finest wind and percussion performers in the School of Music. As the centerpiece of a band program which has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky for over 100 years, the Wind Symphony continues a tradition of professional-level performances given free of charge to appreciative audiences.
The Wind Symphony has performed at the College Band Directors National Association National Conference (CBDNA) in Athens, Georgia and Minneapolis, Minnesota, the CBDNA Southern Division Conferences in Biloxi, Mississippi and Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Kentucky Music Educators Association Conference held annually in Louisville. Most recently, the UK Wind Symphony performed at the 2006 CBDNA Southern Division Conference in Nashville, Tennessee and will be performing at the College Band Directors National Association National Conference (CBDNA) in Greensboro, North Carolina on March 22, 2013.
In the summer of 2008 the Wind Symphony toured the People's Republic of China and performed in Shanghai, Beijing, and other venues in celebration of China's hosting of the Olympic games.
The Wind Symphony meets year round and rehearses on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons and is conducted by Cody Birdwell, Director of UK Bands.
The University of Kentucky Symphony Band is comprised of music majors and talented musicians from other majors. Auditions are held each semester and the ensemble performs music for large and chamber ensembles.
The UK Symphony Band was a featured ensemble at the 2003 and 2012 Kentucky Music Educators Association Conference in Louisville and the 2005 Southern Division MENC/Florida Music Educators Association Conference in Tampa, Florida. Additionally, the Symphony Band was invited to perform at the 2008 KMEA Conference and presented a diverse concert program at the annual state convention. In February of 2010 the UK Symphony Band was featured in a KMEA clinic performance entitled "That's Really Nice, Is That New?:Forgotten Gems for Concert Band, Grades 2-3."
The Symphony Band meets year-round and rehearses on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. The group is conducted by George R. Boulden, Associate Director of Bands.
The University of Kentucky Concert Band is the newest concert ensemble at UK and is comprised of music and non-music majors, as well as talented musicians from the greater Lexington community. No audition is required to participate. Music education majors are encouraged to perform with the Concert Band on secondary instruments.
The Concert Band performs one concert each semester, and rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:15-9:15pm.
A very active group on the road, the University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Miles Osland has toured the Mid-West and South including performances in Chicago, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Louisville, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Georgia, and invitational performances at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. In July 2011 UKJE and the Osland/Dailey Jazztet toured France, Switzerland and the Netherlands, performing at the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals.
The band is also very busy in the recording studio. Five recordings from the Jazz Studies department have been recommended for Grammy nominations and received four-star reviews from DOWNBEAT magazine. To quote one review:
...the UKJE characterizes the best of today’s college band output.
Jazz Studies Director and flutist/saxophonist Miles Osland solos on the last two numbers and if his playing is a fair indication of his pedagogical abilities, then it is easy to see why he has turned out so many good students.
Jazz Times says:
You wouldn’t believe these are students! Not only is their sheer technical virtuosity amazing, but they also play authentically and expressively.
Precision in the ranks, superb soloists, and dramatic use of dynamics make this unit one of the best of its style.
The UKJE has twice been awarded the Outstanding Jazz Ensemble certificate at Annual Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival and multiple times at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival. Two combos from the jazz studies program (UK JazzCats & UK Mega-Sax I) have received numerous outstanding ratings at the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival. Dozens of students have also been awarded the Outstanding Performer certificate at the festival. The Jazz Ensemble has also received the prestigious DeeBee award in the category of Best Jazz Instrumental Studio Orchestra from DOWNBEAT magazine.
The band has been featured with many national touring artists including: Bill Watrous, David Liebman, Tom Harrell, Doc Severinsen, Louie Bellson, Clark Terry, Mel Torme, Diane Schuur, Phil Woods, Randy Brecker, Bobby Shew, Bob Mintzer, Jamey Aebersold, and many others. The group rehearses four hours a week.
Under the direction of James Campbell, the UK Percussion Ensemble has won the prestigious Percussive Arts Society Collegiate Percussion Ensemble Contest four times. They have also performed at several Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, The Bands of America Percussion Ensemble Festival, and alongside international guest artists such as Robin Engelman, Glenn Kotche, Steve Houghton, John Bergamo, Michael Burritt, Bob Becker, William Cahn, Michael Spiro, Chalo Eduardo, Ney Rosauro, Liam Teague, Dick Schory, Anders Åstrand, Richie Garcia, Dave Samuels, Danny Gottlieb, Glenn Velez, Emil Richards, Joe Porcaro, Jerry Steinholtz, David Johnson, Rich Holly, Dean Gronemeier, Fred Sanford, Thomas Burritt, John Parks, J.B. Smith, N. Scott Robinson, Andy Harnsberger, and many others.