" 'NorthWinds' - an ensemble of exceptional musicians, assembled to rehearse and perform high quality & entertaining music to a wide variety of audiences."
The NorthWinds Symphonic Band originated during the spring of 2004, when a few Kansas City area band directors met to discuss the formation of a group that would first and foremost be a performing outlet for area music educators. The initial response was very positive, and after beginning rehearsals in September the first concert season opened with a performance at Oak Park High School on October 24th, 2004.
From its inception now 13 years ago, NorthWinds has welcomed music educators from the entire Kansas City metro area. St. Joseph & Maryville (north), Warrensburg (east), Belton (south), and Lawrence, Kansas (west), are just a few cities to which some of our musicians travel from each week to attend rehearsals and concerts. Our membership includes current and retired music educators, excellent musical members of the community at large, and current college/university students.
NorthWinds programs are eclectic in nature, combining recognized standards, marches and new works written for wind band. The Fall of 2010 marked NorthWinds' first collaboration with the St. Joseph Community Chorus in a presentation of patriotic selections for chorus and band including works by Aaron Copland, Randall Thompson, and Cecil Effinger. In January of 2011, the ensemble was invited to perform a selection of tunes at the Missouri Music Educators Association's conference at Tan Ta Ra resort, and again in 2017 with different pieces, in collaboration with the 79th Annual conference. NorthWinds has also had the honor to perform at the Missouri Bandmasters Association Convention twice, once in June of 2006, and again in 2014. Also, in 2015, we played a concert on the steps of the Liberty Memorial in downtown Kansas City, in conjunction with Memorial Day festivities going on that weekend, and may be doing so again in 2018 (still TBD). The band has been privileged to share concerts with the Fountain City Brass Band, the Missouri Western State University Symphonic Winds, the St. Louis Wind Symphony, as well as other local music ensembles such as the Platte County Community Band, the Kansas City Metro Men's Chorus, and various high school ensembles.
The NorthWinds Symphonic Band takes pride in supporting music in the schools by performing joint concerts with various high schools throughout each season. In addition, during the 2009-10 concert season, NorthWinds hosted its first solo competition for outstanding young instrumentalists. The winner of the competition receives a grant and performs as a soloist with the band on the last concert of the season. This award is open to woodwind, brass or percussion students enrolled in their school's band during the current school year. After a preliminary round of judging recorded submissions, finalists participate in a live audition and the winner announced. Applicants are encouraged to select literature from an extensive list available on the NorthWinds website; all application guidelines can be found there as well.