The East Shore Wind Symphony was founded in February of 2010 with the idea of providing an outlet for high quality performances for many accomplished wind and percussion players living in Northeast Michigan and surrounding areas. The musicians are drawn together by a common dedication to the study, performance, and support of great music and music education.
The East Shore Wind Symphony is Northeast Michigan's leading professional wind band. Comprised of 50 woodwind, brass and percussion players, the band performs an eclectic blend of musical styles ranging from Bach to Bernstein and Sousa to Strauss. They combine the tradition of the British brass band with the musical heritage of the American town band and the pioneering spirit of the 20th century wind ensemble.
The ESWS makes its home in one of Northeast Michigan's leading concert venues, where it performs an annual three concert series. The ESWS is actively engaged with area schools, offering opportunities for select talented school musicians to perform with the group. In our 2012-2013 season we launched the first annual East Shore Wind Symphony Honor Band. During the second half of our December holiday program, some of the very best school musicians from around the state of Michigan joined the members of the ESWS on stage for what was an excellent performance of our cherished holiday favorites.
In our brief history, the ESWS has shared the stage with many talented individuals both at home and on the road. In the spring of 2012 the ESWS played host to the nationally recognized and award winning Mountain Town Singers of Mt. Pleasant, MI. This outstanding, all male chorus is under the direction of David Gillingham. Dr. Gillingham is an award winning composer receiving numerous awards for his concert band works including an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Standard Award in 1996. Other guest have included the Arenac Choraleers, under the direction of songwriter and male vocalist Devin Chisholm, the Perfect 5th Brass Quintet, soprano Amy Petrongelli, The Alpena Thunder Bay Junior High Symphonic Band under the direction of Raymond Reynolds and the Gateway Brass Ensemble of Clare, MI. The ESWS honor band tradition has continued since its inception in 2012 annually hosting a large and diverse cross section of instrumentalist from outstanding school music programs from around the state of Michigan. In December of 2014 a first time collaboration with member schools of the District Nine Michigan School Vocal Music Association resulted in a100 member honor chorus performance with the ESWS. A Fifth Anniversary and first ever concert tour was added to the schedule in the spring of 2014 with performances in Northwest Michigan and a second "Music Education Ambassador" tour was completed in April of 2016.
The ESWS was honored to have been invited to perform in a session at the 2012 Michigan Music Conference. Featuring guest clinician Joesph Dobos and our own Artistic Director Doug Burtch, the ESWS gave a dynamic presentation to music educators from all over the State of Michigan. The primary goal of the ESWS is to make a substantial contribution to the music and artistic life of the community by providing audiences with great and inspiring performances of the finest wind literature available.
The East Shore Wind Symphony is sponsored in part by the Northeast Michigan Arts Council.