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Join us next year for

Prairie Winds 2022!


The University of Kansas Bands invite high school students to participate in the 2021 Prairie Winds Festival, our 19th! This year, we are committed to providing students with an outstanding VIRTUAL musical experience. Sessions will include clinics with KU faculty, a virtual band performance, performances by the KU Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble I, and a special clinic by world-renowned trumpet artist Jens Lindemann!    

Prairie Winds Virtual Band

As part of this year’s festival, participants will be included in a virtual band performance. Students will receive music for Prairie Winds Festival, a brief overture composed by James Barnes. Recordings will be compiled into a performance video that will be broadcast as part of the livestream concert on Saturday evening.

Additional information, including a schedule, music, and instructions for the virtual band project, will be sent in January. Parents may register students using the link at the top of this page.


Prairie Winds Schedule

9:30 am
University of Kansas Wind Ensemble open rehearsal of James BarnesPrairie Winds Festival
10:00 am
Prairie Winds students video record their Prairie Winds Festival part and email it to KU Bands
11:00 am
Jens Lindemann live Zoom masterclass
12:00 pm
Lunch break
1:00 pm
KU School of Music presentation
1:40 pm
Performance faculty live Zoom sectionals with Kansas all-state students (Sacred Spaces, John Mackey), for KS All-state 5-6 A Band members only.
2:30 pm 
Live Zoom masterclasses with KU School of Music faculty, all
4:00 pm
Dinner break
7:30 pm
University of Kansas Wind Ensemble concert, featuring Jens Lindemann and broadcast of virtual recording featuring Prairie Winds Festival students!
8:00 pm
Jazz Ensemble I concert


Prairie Winds Faculty

Paul W. Popiel, Director of Bands
Matt Smith, Associate Director of Bands/Director, Marching Jayhawks
Sharon Toulouse, Assistant Director of Bands
Vince Gnojek, saxophone
Scott Watson, tuba and euphonium
Sam Um, percussion 




School of Music Calendar
Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.