Morris Symphonic Winds
EXPANDING HORIZONS—PERFORMING GREAT MUSIC – CREATING LASTING MEMORIES
- "Symphonic Winds was a pivotal part of my college experience. From my first rehearsal, I was hooked. The repertoire was challenging but fun to play, and I was always proud of our performances. The ensemble allowed me to make friends outside of my major, some of which I am still great friends with today. I am so grateful to Simon Tillier and the Symphonic Winds program for providing me with a creative outlet and experiences that I will bring with me forever. It has encouraged me to continue my musical career into graduate school and beyond."—Katie Kubat ‘20
- "Symphonic Winds was a place where I could refocus, socialize and feel accomplished. Due to my experiences in the ensemble I will continue performing music throughout my life, while pursuing my dreams."—Brittney Ferrian '17
- "Symphonic Winds offered me a close-knit and diverse community to engage with. My passion and talent for music would not have reached their heights without the support I received in the group."—Anne Ternes '17
UMN Morris Symphonic Winds is the primary large instrumental ensemble for wind, brass and percussion players at Morris. Under its conductor Simon Tillier, this auditioned group is made up of some 55 music and non-music majors from throughout the campus. Performances feature a wide variety of works from all musical periods, cultures and styles, emphasizing core and contemporary repertoire. In particular, Symphonic Winds' cross-discipline approach provides the ensemble with the opportunity to commission and collaborate on works involving literature, theatre, film, and dance.
Symphonic Winds frequently collaborates with composers, guest artists, and faculty soloists, including saxophonist Andy Scott, composer Christopher Marshall, electric guitarist Michael Nicolella, and conductor Milt Allen. In 2018 the ensemble commissioned and premiered States of Matter, a three-movement work by U.K. composer Jenni Watson, inspired by the environment and sustainability – issues very much at the heart of this campus.
Symphonic Winds tours regionally, nationally and internationally. In 2015 the ensemble traveled to the United Kingdom to give concerts in Manchester, Bristol, and London as part of a Morris Study Abroad Program, and in 2018 it toured the state of Alaska. The ensemble is currently preparing to undertake an international tour to Ireland and Scotland.
Many students in Symphonic Winds actively play a role in the running of the ensemble through its Student Council. These responsibilities include publicity, fundraising, social events, and logistics. There is also a librarian position.
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