The Wind Ensemble is a versatile group that has accompanied silent movies and live dance performances with original scores by student composers, and collaborated with guest soloists and actors in addition to playing the great works in the wind repertoire.  Recent guests have included composer Frank Ticheli, Brad Ellis, (pianist on GLEE), and Boston Symphony Orchestra members Michael Martin (trumpet), Jason Snider (French horn), Stephen Lange (trombone), Mike Roylance (tuba), and Cynthia Meyers (piccolo).

The Wind Ensemble rehearses and performs during the Fall and Spring semesters, usually playing two concerts each term.  Each year the group participates in a festival with the wind ensembles from Harvard University, Boston College, and Boston University.  At the end of each term the ensemble often shares a concert program with the Concert Band.

The members of the Wind Ensemble come from all backgrounds and majors, and any interested member of the NU community is eligible to join. Auditions are held at the beginning of the term during the first few rehearsals and by appointment. For many students, the Wind Ensemble is an extracurricular activity, but it can also be taken as a free one-credit elective by registering for MUSC 1907.  The course may be repeated for credit.

All students interested in both Wind Ensemble and Concert Band will rehearse together in the Fenway Center from 6-8:30pm on the first Thursday of the fall semester.  Auditions will be the following week, Monday from 6-9pm and Thursday from 6-9pm, by appointment, also at the Fenway Center. There will be one required excerpt for all students, selected from the repertoire read during the first joint rehearsal. Students interested in joining the Concert Band will be asked to audition for seating placement, using the selected musical excerpt. Students who wish to audition for the Wind Ensemble are encouraged to prepare a very short (one minute maximum) excerpt that shows both their technical and lyrical playing, in addition to playing the preselected audition music.

For more information please contact Professor Allison Cockshaw-Betsold

When and where are rehearsals?

Concert Band meets every Monday evening from 6-8:30pm during the fall and spring semesters. Wind Ensemble meets every Thursday evening from 6-8:30pm during the fall and spring semesters. Both ensembles rehearse in the Fenway Center located at 77 St. Stephen Street.

Where can I practice?

Practice rooms are located on the third floor of Ryder Hall. Students may obtain the passcodes to the practice rooms from their ensemble directors or the music office (Ryder 351).

Do I need to have my own instrument?

– Winds and Brass – The music department has a limited stock of some of the more rare/large instruments such as tuba, French horn, oboe, bassoon, baritone saxophone, and bass clarinet. It is HIGHLY RECOMMEND that students who possess their own instruments bring them to campus. Storage space is available for students who need it.

– Percussion – The music department provides the full range of percussion instruments from timpani to a 5 octave marimba to an array of triangles. While we have a small supply of sticks and mallets for students to use, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND that students bring their own.  

Can I perform in more than one ensemble?

Absolutely! Please engage yourself in as many of our ensembles as you desire. Please note that each ensemble has its own audition requirement, some more intricate than others. If you have questions about specific NU ensembles always feel free to reach out to its director.

Are there any scholarship opportunities?

Scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen, usually before the May deposit deadline. For information on our scholarship please visit this page