• JMU Wind Symphony
  • Wind Symphony in Forbes Concert Hall
  • Wind Symphony Fall 2015 Personnel
  • Dr. Stephen Bolstad
  • JMU Wind Symphony at CBDNA 2015
  • Wind Symphony on Forbes Center Balcony
  • 2008 Wind Symphony on the Quad
Wind Symphony

Stephen Bolstad, Conductor

The Wind Symphony is the premier woodwind, brass, and percussion ensemble at James Madison University. With an active performance schedule, the Wind Symphony is committed to performing the great works of the wind band’s core repertoire while also exploring the best of contemporary composition.  The ensemble has hosted on-campus residencies with composers David Maslanka, John Mackey, Michael Daugherty, Joel Puckett, Steven Bryant, Donald Grantham and JMU alumnus Brian Balmages.  The ensemble has also presented premieres of faculty composers Jason Haney (Jetpack) and Eric Guinivan (Vicious Cycle), and consortium premiers of Maslanka’s Symphony No. 8, Puckett’s The Shadows of Sirius, Grantham’s Tuba Concerto, Turrin’s The Sounding of the Call, Stamp’s Divertimento, Plog’s Concerto 2010, and Balmages’ Portraits in Bluestone.  As part of JMU’s annual Contemporary Music Festival, students have also had the opportunity to work with composers such as Karel Husa, Joseph Schwanter, Don Freund, Donald Erb, John Harbison, Francis McBeth, Mark Camphouse and Samuel Adler. 

In addition to on-campus concerts the Wind Symphony recently performed for the 2015 National Conference of the College Band Directors Association (CBDNA) in Nashville, TN, and the VMEA In-Service Conferences in 2015 and 2011.  Prior to that the Wind Symphony has performed at CBDNA regional conventions in New Orleans, Charlotte, Williamsburg, and Greensboro, plus numerous performances for the VMEA State Conference. They have also performed at the Kennedy Center in 1987 and 2007.  Graduates of the Wind Symphony hold positions in several of the Washington-based military bands, military post bands and symphony orchestras throughout the world, and numerous graduates are serving as noted educators and conductors throughout the country.  Membership is open to all JMU students and is determined by auditions at the beginning of each semester.  For additional information and to request audition materials, please email Dr. Bolstad at bolstasp@jmu.edu.

Symphonic Band

Stephen Bolstad, Conductor

The Symphonic Band is an ensemble of 50-60 select woodwind, brass and percussion players.  The ensemble performs two to three concerts per semester with music ranging from the best of the core repertoire to the latest in contemporary composition.  Along with the Wind Symphony, the Symphonic Band hosts a guest composer residency each spring semester.  Membership is open to all JMU students and is determined by auditions at the beginning of each semester.  For additional information and to request audition materials, please email Dr. Bolstad at bolstasp@jmu.edu.

Concert Band

Scott D. Rikkers, conductor
Amy Birdsong, conductor

The Concert Band is the band program’s largest concert ensemble with an average of 70-95 players.  With a performance schedule of one to two concerts per semester, the Concert Band performs a wide variety of wind band repertoire.  Membership is open to all JMU students without audition. Interested individuals should register for MUAP 238.  For additional information, please contact Mr. Rikkers at rikkesd@jmu.edu.

The Marching Royal Dukes

Scott D. Rikkers, Director

Amy Birdsong, Assistant Director


Membership is open to all JMU students. Attendance at band camp, held the week before school opens, is required. The Marching Royal Dukes have been featured on the Columbia Pictures Publications Marching Band Album and in 1988 and 1991 were the guest exhibition band for the Bands of America Grand National Championship. The Marching Royal Dukes won the Sudler Trophy - the Heisman Trophy of college marching bands - in 1994, and they were featured in a full-length article in USA Today regarding their selection. Further acclaim has come from the band's participation in President Clinton's 1997 inaugural parade, President Bush's inaugural in 2001 and from its first European tour, highlighted by a performance at Monaco's 700th-anniversary celebration and their performance in Athens, Greece in December 2000.

Pep Band
Amy Birdsong, Director

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