The KU Wind Ensemble Receives the 2023 American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance

The University of Kansas School of Music is thrilled to announce that its Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Interim Dean Paul W. Popiel, has been recognized as the 2023 college/university recipient of The American Prize in Band/Wind Ensemble Performance.

Unique in its scope and structure, The American Prize is the nation's most comprehensive series of contests in the performing arts. Now in its 13th year, The American Prize is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts. Thousands of artists from all fifty states have derived benefit from their participation in the contests of The American Prize. The KU Wind Ensemble was recognized for its performance on their recently released album, Dreams Unseen. The collection features a range of works by esteemed composers including Katahj Copley, Tom Davoren, Joni Greene, Peter Meechan, and Omar Thomas.

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. The group has several highly acclaimed performance credits for commercial CDs on the Klavier, Naxos, Ecstatic, Summit, Cantaloupe, and Mark Custom labels. Their Carnegie Hall debut in 2013 was pronounced by Feast of Music as “showing amazing chops in their transitions and an impressive range of dynamics.”

Besides Carnegie Hall, the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble has performed for President Obama in 2015, the national convention of the College Band Directors National Association in 2017, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2018, the Milan, Italy Festival of Bands in 2022, and the American Bandmasters Association national convention in 2023. 

You can learn more about the album on our website, and more about the competition over on their website.