Conductor, Dr. Lev Ivanov
An auditioned group comprised of wind and percussion students, specializing in challenging, contemporary repertoire.
Founded in 1979 by Steven W. Eggleston, the Illinois Wesleyan Wind Ensemble has since developed an impressive reputation, richly cultivated by the ensemble's many prestigious guests and performance opportunities.
In conjunction with the School of Music's annual Symposium of Contemporary Music, the Wind Ensemble is given the opportunity to work closely with world-renown composers. This program has brought many prominent musical figures such as Estonian composer Avro Part and Dutch composer Louis Andreissen to the campus both to clinic and to conduct the Wind Ensemble. The group has also hosted Pulitzer Prize-winning composers such as Karel Husa, Joseph Schwantner, and William Bolcom.
John Corigliano, winner of the 2000 coveted Oscar award for his film score to The Red Violin, has also been a recent guest of the ensemble's. The revered composer Vince Mendoza, winner of two Grammy awards and composer with Bjork of the film score to Dancer in the Dark, was the Wind Ensemble's 2005 Symposium guest.
Dedicated to the performance of contemporary music, the ensemble recently premiered Jennifer Higdon's Fanfare Ritmico, a work commissioned through Illinois Wesleyan University's chapter (Alpha Lambda) of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and written for the IWU Wind Ensemble. Since this premiere, Higdon's latest album, a recording with the Atlanta Symphony of her Concerto for Orchestra/City Scape, was nominated for four 2005 Grammy awards. In addition to the many composers that have worked with the group, professional musicians, such as the highly regarded trumpeter, Anthony Plog, have performed with the Wind Ensemble.
In addition to hosting such prestigious guests, the Wind Ensemble continues to have many esteemed performance opportunities. Such past concerts have included performing with the College Band Directors' National Association Conference and with the Illinois Music Educators Association Conference, as well as performing on frequent tours throughout the Midwest.