Conducted by Jerry Junkin, The University of Texas Wind Ensemble has firmly established itself as one of America’s elite wind bands. Active in the area of commissioning new music since 1988, the group has offered world premiere performances of works by composers such as John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Donald Grantham, David Maslanka, and Dan Welcher. One of the guiding principles of the ensemble is contact with the leading musical minds of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, resulting in residencies by such notable musicians as Samuel Alder, Robert Beaser, Daniel Godfrey, William Kraft, David Maslanka, Thea Musgrave, Stephen Stucky, Joan Tower, and Pulitzer Prize winners John Adams, William Bolcom, Michael Colgrass, John Corigliano, David Del Tredici, Jacob Druckman, John Harbison, Karel Husa, Gunther Schuller, and Joseph Schwantner.
The Wind Ensemble made its international debut at the Fifth Conference of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Manchester, England in 1991, and its New York debut at Carnegie Hall in February 1998. Internationally, the Wind Ensemble has embarked on summer tours in 2008 and 2014 with performances in England, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and China. National appearances include the 1995, 1999, 2005 (Carnegie Hall), and 2009 conferences of the College Band Directors National Association and the 1996, 2000 and 2009 American Bandmasters Association. Regional appearances include the 1989 conference of the College Band Directors National Association in Waco, Texas, and seven appearances at the Clinic-Convention of the Texas Music Educators Association (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014). The ensemble was also featured at the Napa Valley Festival del Sole in 2007, and maintains a relationship with IMG Artists.
In addition, commercial recordings released by The University of Texas Wind Ensemble on the Reference, Klavier, and Naxos labels have garnered many accolades. The New York Times enthusiastically praised their release :italic Bells for Stokowski on the Reference label writing, “the skilled and enthusiastic playing of the young performers leaps off the disc…they make a glorious noise.” The same publication also listed Bells for Stokowski as one of the best Classical CD’s of 2004, and Absolute Sound Magazine awarded it a prestigious “Golden Ear” award. Their release on the Naxos label, Circus Maximus, was featured in Diapason d’Or, France’s largest classical music publication and received its coveted “Golden Tuning Fork,” the most prestigious award in French culture for classical music recordings. Most recently, the Wind Ensemble released a 5.1 surround sound Blu-Ray recording in October 2015 of the music of Joel Puckett, Steven Bryant, and John Mackey, also on the Naxos label.
Graduates of the Wind Ensemble hold major positions in each of the Washington D.C.- based military bands and international major symphony orchestras, in addition to those serving as noted educators and conductors throughout the world.