Under the direction of Dr. Robert J. Ambrose, the Georgia State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble is recognized as one of the finest ensembles of its type in the region. As the premier wind band at Georgia State, the ensemble is comprised of the most advanced woodwind, brass, and percussion players in the School of Music, selected each semester by audition. The ensemble’s repertoire is drawn from significant literature written for wind ensemble, symphonic band and chamber winds. Most literature is performed with one player assigned to each part. Alumni of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble hold positions in many of the leading orchestras, bands and chamber ensembles in the country, including the Atlanta Symphony and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.”
The Symphonic Wind Ensemble has accepted multiple performance invitations at prestigious conferences of the College Band Directors National Association and Georgia Music Educators Association. A performance of by the ensemble of Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, under the direction of Robert Ambrose, has received repeated airings on Georgia Public Radio. In addition, the ensemble’s reference recordings can be heard on the websites of numerous composers. In 2009, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble released its first CD, American Manuscripts, on the Summit Records label. Comprising premiere recordings of pieces by Michael Colgrass, John Mackey, Andrew Rindfleisch and John Zdechlik, the CD is available through iTunes, Amazon and other music retailers.
Dr. Ambrose and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble are committed to supporting the creation of new works for the wind band medium and have commissioned or co-commissioned more than a dozen works for winds since Dr. Ambrose’s tenure began in 2001. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble has hosted many of the nation’s leading composers on campus for performances of their works, including Pulitzer Prize winners Michael Colgrass, John Harbison and Leslie Bassett, as well as John Mackey, Jonathan Newman and Jack Stamp.