Savannah River Winds was established in May 2001. Under the direction of conductor Richard D. Brasco, Savannah River Winds is comprised of band directors, university professors, musicians from professional and vocational fields, and college students from the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) which encompasses an area from Thomson, Georgia to Aiken, South Carolina. Membership in SRW is by audition and/or invitation. Savannah River Winds is a winner of The Sudler Silver Scroll, North America’s Most Prestigious Award For Community Concert Bands.
Savannah River Winds was organized with the following objectives in mind:
- To provide an ensemble that offers challenging band literature for its members.
- To serve the community by presenting concerts throughout the CSRA.
- To encourage young musicians in middle and high school by presenting concerts for them where they can see and hear their music teachers and band directors perform.
- To provide a venue where middle and high school musicians can observe and hear musicians from vocations other than music; i.e. doctors, nuclear physicists, business people, etc., enjoying music as an avocation.
- To perform at state music conventions and other similar venues outside the regular concert season.
- To commission composers to write original compositions, and provide a venue for school-aged musicians to interact with the composer.
Music for the season is distributed prior to the start of the season. The ensemble rehearses three times before any scheduled concert. The season consists of a Prism concert in September for the Westobou Festival, a Veterans Day Concert in November, A Christmas concert in conjunction with the Augusta State University Wind Ensemble in December, a concert for the honor band students at the Georgia Music Educators District Ten Honor Band Clinic in February, and an outdoor concert for the Aiken Hopeland Garden Summer Concert Series in May.
Savannah River Winds also performs concerts outside of the regular season. In 2004 and 2009 SRW performed at the Georgia Music Educators In Service Convention in Savannah, GA, and in 2006 at the South Carolina Music Educators State Convention. SRW has also recorded a compact disc of music composed by David Shaffer for Barnhouse Publishing Company. In 2010 the ensemble received a grant from the Westobou Festival Committee and the Porter Fleming Foundation, and commissioned Mr. Larry Clark to compose an original piece for the ensemble. Mr. Clark was the guest conductor at the premier performance of his composition.
Special guest conductors have been David Shaffer, Steven Reineke, Brian Balmages, Robert Sheldon, Larry Clark, and Ralph Ford.
If you think you may be interested in becoming a member of Savannah River Winds you can contact any of the section leaders listed on the “Section Leader” page on this website.