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Wind Symphony (MUAP 346/546/646)

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

Symphonic Band (MUAP 239)

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

Concert Band (MUAP 238/538)

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 or Mrs. Birdsong at

Brass Band (MUAP 352/552/652)


The JMU Brass Band is one of only a few collegiate brass bands in the United States. Formed in the Fall of 2000, the band has twice been named the North American Brass Band Association 1st Section Champion (2004, 2005) and was the 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2016 NABBA Championship Section Runner-up. The group maintains an active performance schedule throughout the academic year, performing regularly both on and off campus. The band was a featured ensemble at the 2006 Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, Kentucky and both the 2004 and 2014 Virginia Music Educators Conference in Norfolk, Virginia.  In the summer of 2008, the ensemble embarked on a concert tour of England and Wales sharing the stage with many outstanding bands including the No. 1 ranked brass band in the world, Cory Band. In 2009, the group became the first brass band to perform a full length concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Always interested in showcasing new repertoire, the band has given the North American premiere of a number of major works for brass band. The band is regularly ranked in the top 150 brass bands worldwide according to World of Brass/British Bandsman rankings.

The ensemble has been host to a number of guest artists including Steven Mead, euphonium; Sheona White, tenor horn; Vince DiMartino, trumpet; Allen Vizzutti, trumpet; Katrina Marzella, baritone; Richard Sebring, horn; Colin Williams, trombone; Chris Gekker, trumpet; David Childs, euphonium; Les Neish, tuba; Brett Baker, trombone; Glenn van Looy, euphonium; David Thornton, euphonium and Carol Jantsch, tuba.

In the summer of 2012, the JMU Brass Band was one of three featured brass bands performing at the 2012 International Tuba-Euphonium Conference in Linz, Austria. The band was also recognized in The Royal College of Music (RNCM) Brass Band Festival in Manchester, England in the winter of 2017, alongside prestigious bands such as the Cory Band and Black Dyke. The JMU Brass Band is the first brass band from the United States to be invited to the festival.

JMU Brass Band on Facebook

JMU Brass Band Website

The Marching Royal Dukes (MUAP 237/537)


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.

Learn more about the MRDs

Pep Band (MUAP 240)

The JMU Pep Band, one of the premier college pep bands in the nation, plays at all home Men’s and Women’s home basketball games, as well as other various functions around campus. The revamped band has become an integral part to home basketball games with their energetic music and wild antics. Under the direction of Mr. Nieves Villaseñor, the band has risen to popularity throughout the country after repeated post-season appearances by both basketball teams. In just five short years, the band has attended post-season play in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas. The goal of the band is to entertain the crowds wherever they may be while continually supporting the Dukes basketball teams.

The band is open to all students at JMU that play brass, saxophone, drumset, bass, or guitar.

  • AUDITIONS: There are no auditions, with the exception of the rhythm section. The application process begins mid to late September.

  • SCHEDULE: The group rehearses for 30 minutes prior to each game. The ensemble convenes at the beginning of the basketball season.

  • CONTACT: Please feel free to follow the "JMU Pep Band" FacebookTwitter or Instagram for updates, or email Mr. Chris DeVona at
Ensemble Directors

Stephen Bolstad

Stephen P. Bolstad
Director of Bands
Ensemble Area Coordinator


Kira Omelchenko
Assistant Professor
Director of Orchestras

Chris DeVona

Chris DeVona
Assistant Director of Athletic Bands
Director of Pep Band

Chuck Dotas

Chuck Dotas
Director of Jazz Studies

Bryce Hayes

W. Bryce Hayes
Associate Professor
Associate Director of Choral Activities

Scott Rikkers

Scott Rikkers
Director of the Marching Royal Dukes
Assistant Director of Bands

Kevin Stees

Kevin J. Stees
JMU Brass Band

Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy

Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy
Director of Choral Activities

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