Symphonic Wind Ensemble selected to perform at CBDNA regional conference

Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Penn State's Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the premier wind/percussion ensemble in the School of Music, was invited through a blind selection process to perform at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Eastern Regional Conference in Ithaca, New York, in February 2024.

Only six bands were selected to perform at the conference. Applications were open to any collegiate band in the states of Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont. Regional conferences occur every other year and feature performances and presentations to enhance the creativity and knowledge of college band directors.

“There are only a few invitation-only performances for collegiate wind ensembles as a result of blind musical application, so this represents a huge honor for the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and is a testament to the hard work of our talented students. It is always an honor to share the stage with them,” said Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin, director of wind band studies, who is entering her fourth year in the position.

Students are selected for the Symphonic Wind Ensemble by blind audition at the beginning of each semester.

“While the group is open to anyone on campus, it is filled with mostly music majors at the undergraduate and graduate level,” said Mitchell-Spradlin. “They are thoughtful and passionate about making meaningful musical moments. What's special about this ensemble is that they seem to enjoy one another, are kind and friendly, and work to build each other up."

We strive to embody a culture of high-level music-making in a positive environment while providing several opportunities for individual and group success.” -Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin

The ensemble, known for its musicality, diverse selection of music and frequent collaborations with living composers, was featured at the 16th Annual President's Concert at Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall in April 2023. Recent recordings of the group can be found on Neuma and Parma records.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, in Bailey Hall at Cornell University.