Freedom From Fear Ensembles 

KU Wind Ensemble

Described by the New York Times as “one of America’s most esteemed concert bands,” the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble is the premier wind band at the University of Kansas and is conducted by Paul W. Popiel, director of bands. Their Carnegie Hall debut in 2013 was described by Feast of Music as “showing amazing chops in their transitions and an impressive range of dynamics” and by the New York Times as “performing with polish, assurance and copious spirit, eliciting a rousing ovation.” The Wind Ensemble performed for President Obama for his address to the University of Kansas in January 2015.

The band enjoys a long history of excellence and musical leadership in the State of Kansas, across the nation, and around the world. Former conductors include Russell Wiley, Kenneth Bloomquist, Robert E. Foster, John Lynch, and Scott Weiss. The ensemble is at the forefront of commercial wind band recordings, and can be heard on the Klavier, Naxos Wind Band Classics, Ecstatic, and Mark Custom labels. Their 2013 release, In the Shadow of No Towers, was described in Gramophone Magazine as “...eloquent, disciplined performances that come across with stunning dynamic range and almost dimensional transparency.” Their most recent album, Of Shadow and Light, was released on the Klavier label in 2017.

The band has hosted numerous composers including John Corigliano, Frank Ticheli, Steven Bryant, Kevin Walczyk, Joni Greene, Aaron Perrine, Michael Torke, Joel Puckett, John Mackey, Mohammed Fairouz, and Eric Ewazen; as well as guest conductors Dai Zhonghui, Michelle Rakers, John Whitwell, H. Robert Reynolds, and Mallory Thompson. Guest soloists performing with the Wind Ensemble include Jim Walker, Gail Williams, Jeff Nelsen, Jon Lewis, Joey Tartell, the Boston Brass, and Chris Vadala.

KU Wind Ensemble
Paul W. Popiel, conductor
Deborah Hass, picc Shawnee, KS
Abigail Sigler Overland Park, KS
Taylor Webb Lawrence, KS
Madeleine Wilmsen Wildwood, MO
Emily Foltz, English horn Parkville, MO
Elizabeth Phillips McKinney, TX
Susan Tope Colorado Springs, CO
Kylie Hansen Friendswood, TX
Randall Himes, contra Keller, TX
Shuo Li Wuxi, Jiangsu, China
Katherine Anderson Omaha, NE
Angela Fornelli Overland Park, KS
Stacia Fortune, bass Urbandale, IA
Justin Harbaugh, Eb Emporia, KS
Juliana Hsu Cherry Hill, NJ
Hilary Lowery Norman, OK
Courtney Nottingham Lawrence, KS
Sophie Solomonson, contra Olathe, KS
Lauren Walbert Lenexa, KS
Sam Boyd Leawood, KS
Cameron Harris Overland Park, KS
Luis Matos Kansas City, KS
Michael Svoren Overland Park, KS
David Valdez Santa Cruz, CA
Andre Womack, Olathe, KS
Noah Zoller Olathe, KS
Baset Azizi Kabul, Afghanistan
Jong Ho Kim Seoul, South Korea
Chuck MacKinnon Sunnyvale, CA
Erik Mahon Elk River, MN
Jonah Pellegrino Overland Park, KS
Hannah Steinert Wichita, KS
Robert Vandivier Orlando, FL
Trent Warbis Boise, Idaho
Evan Brown Cedar Rapids, IA
Jacob Hemenway McPherson, KS
Kenzie Kimble Topeka, KS
Alice Kirsch Marion, IA
Becca Lunstrum Redfield, SD
Brady O'Donnell Kansas City, MO
Caroline Strickfaden McHenry, IL
Ben Cooper Overland Park, KS
PJ Kelley, bass Olympia, WA
Megann Lawrenz Baldwin City, KS
Roy Schmeidler Hays, KS
Mark Sweeney Durham, NC
Ian Warshaw Overland Park, KS
Colin Wreath Andover, KS
Josh Hugo Rosemount, MN
Deacon Ridley Overland Park, KS
Max Gerhart Columbus, OH
Josie Jones Kansas City, KS
Alex Price Topeka, KS
Grace Clark Lawrence, KS
Tamieka Melançon Olathe, KS
Alex Annan Omaha, NE
Murphy Smith Westwood, KS
Raffaele Cipriano  Schio, Italy
Jack Yarbrough Birmingham, AL
Alex Frank Topeka, KS
Alex Alfaro Wildwood, MO
Vaughn Craddock Wichita, KS
Zach Frieze Olathe, KS
Donovan Miller Woodbury, MN
Lauren Molloy Austin, TX
Theodore Musick Garden City, KS
Jonathan Trudeau Lake Zurich, IL
Nicholas Wright Olathe, KS


KU Jazz Ensemble

The University of Kansas Jazz Ensemble I, directed by Dan Gailey, is the flagship ensemble within the KU Jazz Studies Program. The program has received 25 DownBeat Student Music Awards, including Jazz Ensemble I’s 2015 award in the Graduate Division for Best College Big Band in the United States or Canada, and their Outstanding Performance Award in the same division in 2017. In April 2016, the ensemble performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City with internationally acclaimed vocalist Deborah Brown, and the band was one of six college finalists that performed at the 2017 Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival.

In July 2014, Jazz Ensemble I played eight shows in 11 days as part of an European tour that included appearances by invitation at two of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals — the Montreux Jazz Festival, where the band performed twice, and the Jazz À Vienne Festival. The ensemble has also been featured at International Association of Jazz Educators Conferences in New York City, Boston and Atlanta with guest soloists including Dave Liebman, Jim McNeely and Rick Margitza, and guest composer/conductor Maria Schneider. Other major appearances include two recent concerts at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Jazz Ensemble I has had the distinction of performing with such noted guest artists as Toshiko Akiyoshi, Clark Terry, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Sean Jones, Kneebody, Steve Wilson, Dave Douglas, Louie Bellson, Tim Ries, Peter Erskine, Vince Mendoza, Conrad Herwig, Bob Sheppard, Gary Foster, Steve Houghton, Bob Mintzer, Bobby Shew, Carl Fontana, Dick Oatts, Frank Mantooth, Ingrid Jensen, Jon Hendricks, Pete Christlieb and many others.

Dan Gailey, director
David Valdez Santa Cruz, CA
Luis Matos Kansas City, KS
Michael Svoren Overland Park, KS
Sam Boyd Leawood, KS
Cameron Harris Overland Park, KS
Robert Vandivier Orlando, FL
Trent Warbis Boise, ID
Erik Mahon Elk River, MN
Jonah Pellegrino Overland Park, KS
Chuck MacKinnon Sunnyvale, CA
Mark Sweeney Bangor, ME
Colin Wreath Andover, KS
Ian Warshaw Overland Park, KS
P.J. Kelley Olympia, WA
Alex Frank, guitar Topeka, KS
Raffaele Cipriano, piano Schio, Italy
Murphy Smith, bass Westwood, KS
Vaughn Craddock, drums Wichita, KS
Donovan Miller, percussion Woodbury, MN


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.