Photo by Daniel Coston.

The Wind Ensemble at UNC Charlotte is proudly named the most advanced organization for winds and percussion. They perform two concerts per semester on campus, both are open to all students, faculty and anyone else interested in attending. They also perform multiple concerts throughout North Carolina. All members of the Wind Ensemble must audition at the beginning of each semester during the first week of class by performing a short extract from a popular piece of music. There is a list that is provided on the University’s website. The classes are held each semester on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

The members of the Wind Ensemble at UNC Charlotte perform a wide variety of music ranging from traditional to contemporary. They aim to broaden their artistic level and interest in music while performing both new music and music of historical relevance. These performances include instruments from the woodwind variety, brass and percussion families of instruments, along with the double bass or bass guitar. On rare occasions, additional non-traditional instruments may be added to such ensembles such as piano, harp, synthesizer or electric guitar.

On Monday, April 30, The UNC Charlotte Wind Ensemble presented “Angels and Demons,” at 7:30 p.m. This performance took place at Belk Theater in Robinson Hall. The concert included a special guest performance by the North Lincoln High School Wind Ensemble. This concert was directed by Dr. Shawn Smith and led by Kevin Still, a UNC Charlotte alumnus. The pieces of music that were performed by North Lincoln High School Wind Ensemble were “Ampartio Rocca,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Ignition.” The pieces of music that were performed by the UNC Charlotte Wind Ensemble were “Xerxes: A Concert March,” “Lonely Beach,” “Angels in the Architecture” and “Rolling Thunder.” Some of these pieces of music that were performed date back to the early 1940’s.

Smith is the Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Conducting. Smith holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in instrumental conducting from Arizona State University, a Master’s degree of Music from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor’s degree of Music Education from Boise State University. Before his time at UNC Charlotte, Smith spent eight years as Director of Bands at Texas A&M University.

Kevin Still serves at the Director of Bands at North Lincoln High School in Lincolnton, North Carolina. He teaches Wind Ensemble, Symphonic band, “Band of Knights” Marching Band, Jazz Band and Pit Orchestras. The North Lincolnton band program consists of over 160 students and is supported by parents and booster clubs. Still holds a Bachelor in Music in Music Education from UNC Charlotte. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Music Education at Texas Tech University.

The UNC Charlotte Band program is on its third year on campus and consists of over 200 students. The bands have been invited to perform at many places around Charlotte, including for the Carolina Panthers. The members hope to continue sharing their love for the performing arts around Charlotte and beyond.