The Washington Wind Symphony presents “soUSA” on Saturday, May 25th!

This Memorial Day, Americans will once again pay tribute to the selfless patriots who gave their lives to retain our freedom. To help honor their memory, we’ll present a unique program featuring a diverse collection of all-American music, with a special salute to America’s Military March King, John Philip Sousa. Join the Washington Wind Symphony as music director Jacob Scherr conducts this program by American composers–including a world premiere by one of our own!

The marches:

“Review” by John Philip Sousa, (ed. Gay Corie) – This was Sousa’s first march, published in 1873. He dedicated it to Colonel William G. Moore of the Washington Light Infantry.

“The Pathfinder of Panama (1915)” by John Philip Sousa – One of twelve marches Sousa composed for various expositions or fairs, “The Pathfinder of Panama” was dedicated to the Panama Canal and the Panama-Pacific Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915. 

“The Circumnavigators Club” by John Philip Sousa – This march was played for the Circumnavigators Club at their annual meeting on December 10, 1931, with Sousa as one of their honored guests. It was wildly applauded.

Additional featured selections:

“Chester” by William Schuman – based on a hymn written by the early New England composer William Billings (1746-1800), American composer Schuman originally wrote Chester for orchestra, then re-worked the piece for concert band. This work quickly became a popular marching song in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, and was often played on the march by the Continental Army’s fifes and drums.

“Variations on a Shaker Melody (from Appalachian Spring)” by Aaron Copland – The ballet Appalachian Spring tells the story of a newlywed couple living on a pioneer settlement in Pennsylvania during the 1800s. The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, a fundamentalist Protestant religious sect, were known as “Shakers” due to the ecstatic nature of their worship services. Strict believers in celibacy, Shakers acquired their members through conversion. This musical excerpt from the ballet is recognizable as the tune for the song “Lord of the Dance.”

“Four Cinematic Scenes” by Ray Heraty – You won’t hear this piece anywhere else (yet)! Be there to experience the world premiere of this exciting composition, penned by a member of our trumpet section. Ray’s “original movie music” consists of four expressive movements that evoke a range of beautiful aural moods and emotions. And who knows…there may even be dragons!

“Requiem for the Unarmed” by Kevin Day – From the composer: “Requiem for the Unarmed is my musical response to the death of George Floyd and to Black lives lost due to racial injustice in the United States. This piece is meant to be a memorial to those lives lost and is my plea and prayer. May this happen no more.”

“Variations on ‘America'” by Charles Ives, (orch. William Schuman; trans. William E. Rhoades) – Sometimes described as witty and irreverent, Ives composed this popular tune in 1891 when he was just 17 by taking liberties with My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” the de facto anthem of the United States at the time. Listen for the effect of two separate ensembles playing simultaneously, plus themes of patriotism and a sense of playfulness and optimism. 

“Come Sunday” by Omar Thomas – A trombonist from fourth grade through college, Thomas visualized this piece as two-movement tribute to the Hammond organ‘s central role in Black worship services. The composer explains: “The first movement, Testimony, follows the Hammond organ as it readies the congregation’s hearts, minds, and spirits to receive The Word via a magical union of Bach, blues, jazz, and R&B. The second movement, Shout!, is a virtuosic celebration – the frenzied and joyous climactic moment(s) when The Spirit has taken over the service. The title is a direct nod to Duke Ellington, who held an inspired love for classical music and allowed it to influence his own work in a multitude of ways.”

With so much inspiring American wind band music packed into one performance, this concert can only be described as, “So USA”! Be sure to buy tickets in advance, or go to our website to reserve your comfortable seat in the Robertson Performing Arts Center. Be sure to visit any of our social media pages to Like, Subscribe, and Share to help us spread the word!


Adults: $15.00 | Senior: $10.00 | Students/Youth: FREE


Robertson Performing Arts Center @ Redmond High School

17272 NE 104th St, Redmond, WA 98052

The Washington Wind Symphony presents “From Bach to Rock” on Sunday, March 10th!

Are you ready for a fun afternoon of musical contrasts at Robertson Performing Arts Center in Redmond? Our music director Jacob Scherr has tapped his extensive knowledge of the wind band repertoire to create a melodious performance of instrumental feats you won’t soon forget. The concert starts at 2:00 pm pDt (note that this is the same day you need to set your clocks forward an hour!) You’ll hear:

“Toccata and Fugue in D minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach (trans. Ryan Nowlin) – You’ll instantly recognize this audience favorite, Nowlin’s inspired arrangement for band. Having heard this masterpiece in a diverse variety of films, you may be reminded of the 1940 Disney animated classic, “Fantasia.” Or, a classic horror movie may come to mind, including “Phantom of the Opera” and “Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.” Whatever picture is sparked by your aural memory, you’re sure to humming Bach’s famous theme long after you leave the concert.

“In evening’s stillness…” by Joseph Schwantner – Both a delicate and dynamic composition, this piece was commissioned by the Illinois College Band Directors Association in 1996, and premiered at the Midwest Music Educators National Conference convention in Peoria, Illinois. As with Schwanter’s previous two works for wind ensemble, he says In Evening’s Stillness… was inspired by poetry:

“In evening’s stillness a gentle breeze, distant thunder encircles the silence.”

Schwantner’s compositional career has been marked by many awards, grants, and fellowships, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his orchestral composition “Aftertones of Infinity” and several Grammy nominations.

“Run to the Light” by Ivan Trevino – If you enjoy the variety and exciting vibrations only possible with a full band percussion section, this piece is designed for you! Commissioned by the Eastman Wind Ensemble in 2022, the composer dedicated “Run to the Light” to “a thousand or so very special people in Victoria, Texas.” Ivan Trevino, 41, is a Mexican-American composer, percussionist, writer, and arts advocate. He has composed over 70 works for percussion and won numerous Percussive Arts Society International Composition Contest awards. Trevino currently serves as lecturer in percussion at University of Texas at Austin, and is co-director of the Eastman Percussion Festival, a biennial summer festival hosted by Eastman School of Music.

“Until the Scars” by John Mackey – An adaptation of the opening movement to Mackey’s full symphony for band titled “Wine-Dark Sea,” the composer drew inspiration for this work from Homer’s tale of Odysseus. Enjoy Mackey’s dynamic interpretation of this epic story as the Greek King and his marauding crew triumphantly celebrate their victory over the Trojans, only to meet disaster at sea.

“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Johann Sebastian Bach (arr. Alfred Reed) – With a background which boasted approximately 200 musical ancestors, it’s not surprising that Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) developed a keen interest in music at an early age. He mastered the violin and clavier and devoted himself to the study and mastery of the organ. As court organist in the town of Arnstadt at the age of eighteen, Bach became interested in composition, devoting every leisure moment to improving his skills. During his lifetime, Bach was more famous as an organist and court musician than as a composer. His works were largely unknown until rediscovered some eighty years after his death. We are fortunate to enjoy them now as his legacy.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Freddie Mercury (arr. Masamicz Amano) – Regarded as one of the greatest singers in the history of rock music, Mercury referred to “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a “mock opera” that resulted from the combination of three songs he had written. It was recorded by his band, Queen, at five studios between August-September, 1975. Due to recording logistics of the era, the band had to bounce the tracks across eight generations of 24-track tape, resulting in nearly 200 tracks for overdubs. The song parodies elements of opera with bombastic choruses, sarcastic recitative, and distorted Italian operatic phrases. You’ll love this fantastic wind band arrangement!

Come join us for this unique assemblage of classical-to-modern wind band music! Be sure to buy tickets in advance, or go to our website to reserve your comfortable seat in the Robertson Performing Arts Center. Be sure to visit any of our social media pages to Like, Subscribe, and Share to help us spread the word!


Adults: $15.00 | Senior: $10.00 | Students/Youth: FREE


Robertson Performing Arts Center @ Redmond High School

17272 NE 104th St, Redmond, WA 98052

The Washington Wind Symphony presents “Light from Within” on Sunday, December 17th!

What better way to get into a happy, holiday mood than taking in this collection of heart-warming wind band music at Redmond’s Robertson Performing Arts Center? Our music director Jacob Scherr has curated a symphonic collection of seasonal favorites to brighten your December Sunday. You’ll hear:

 “Minor Alterations,” by David Lovrien — Listen carefully for your favorite Christmas carols within this tasteful compilation, which Lovrien has cleverly tailored into minor keys. From the distinctive “Deck the Halls” at the start to the final, frenzied “Nutcracker Suite” finale, each tune is lovingly twisted into something new and inventive.

“Bach’s Fugue à la Gigue” — by Johann Sebastian Bach (trans. Gustav Holst; ed. Jon Ceander Mitchell) — In 1928, Holst set about scoring Bach’s “Organ Fugue in G Major” for brass and military band, then branded it with his own title. This technically demanding piece draws in listeners with its mesmerizing interweaving of musical lines. 

“Russian Christmas Music,” by Alfred Reed — The late American composer Alfred Reed was just 23 when he was commissioned to write this stirring tribute to promote Russian-American unity — and he completed it in just 14 days. First performed near the end of World War II and immensely popular among wind ensemble fans, its dramatic Tchaikovsky-esque finale alone is worth the price of admission!

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” by Albert Hague and Eugene Poddany (arr. Larry Clark) — Melding the songs “Welcome Christmas” with “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” the composers honor Dr. Seuss’ 1966 TV animated musical comedy classic by the same name. Sit back and enjoy the fun memories conjured up by this timeless, familiar music.

“Halcyon Hearts,” by Katahj Copley — Written to denote the moment of peace when one finds their love or passion, this work is especially poignant today in today’s world. “No matter what race, gender, religion, nationality or love, we all are united with the common thread of passion from the heart. This piece was written in dedication to those who love no matter which negativity is in the world; do not allow hate and prejudice to guide the way we live our lives. Always choose love and the halcyon days will come.” — From the Composer

“The Eighth Candle,” by Steve Reisteter — Composed in 1997 by a Roman Catholic inspired by Aaron Copland, this piece remembers the story of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. It begins with an extended hymn-like section followed by an exciting dance of celebration. Finally, the feast commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greek tyrant Antiochus over 2,180 years ago. Legend has it that, after the battles were won, there was only enough oil for the ceremonial lights to last for one day. Yet by some miracle, the oil lasted for eight days.

We hope you’ll take a break from your busy holiday schedule to join us for this heartwarming concert. Be sure to buy tickets in advance to reserve your comfortable seat in the Robertson Performing Arts Center, go to our website for more information. or visit any of our social media pages to Like, Subscribe, and Share!


Adults: $15.00 | Senior: $10.00 | Students/Youth: FREE


Robertson Performing Arts Center @ Redmond High School

17272 NE 104th St, Redmond, WA 98052