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Wind Symphony Syllabus


Course No. and Yr.: MUS 268 | MUS 450M—SPRING 2016 (updated 08/16/16)


Illinois Wind Symphony (WS) Prerequisite: Approval of Instructor. Through rehearsal and performance of a variety of carefully selected wind band and chamber wind literature, students will increase their knowledge and experience base with focus on professional outcomes and standards to service career objectives of future professional performers and educators. The Wind Symphony is open to all University of Illinois students on an auditioned basis. Ensemble placement and repertoire/part assignments are determined by audition and faculty recommendations, and are intended to provide the most appropriate educational experience for each individual student’s development. This course may be repeated for credit.


Dr. Stephen G. Peterson, conductor
Harding Band Building Office: Room 140
Music Building Office: Room 4056


General Class Schedule: Monday 1:00 pm–3:50 pm and Wednesday 1:00 pm–3:50 pm. *Rehearsals are in Harding Band Building, Room 141, unless otherwise noted on the weekly rehearsal schedule. Consult the on-line weekly rehearsal schedule regularly for information. Attendance Requirements: Attendance is required at all rehearsals and performances listed in the syllabus or posted as an addendum. There are no absences allowed. However, sickness and extenuating circumstances may occur. In these situations, please contact the conductor immediately. If you have a recital on the same date, you are expected to be in rehearsal, but will be allowed to rest during rehearsal rather than play. The school policy is school ensembles first, external jobs second.

Music: Music is supplied by University of Illinois Department of Bands. Students are required to own a personal metronome and a personal tuner, in addition to the normal accessories associated with their instrument (mutes, reeds, mouthpieces, etc.). Music and folders are on loan to students for each concert rotation. They must be returned in full at the close of each concert rotation. Students are responsible for all loaned materials, and must replace any missing items. The fee for a missing folder is $25. If there is an original rental part checked out, there may be an additional fee based on the agreement with the rental agency.

Course Goals: To address, rehearse, and perform wind ensemble/band music from various periods and to grow as performers and educators through participation in various-sized ensembles. It is intended that this course be a fusion arena for all other music curricula.

Learning Goals: Students will become aware of various ensemble and rehearsal techniques, wind repertoire, and professional-level performance techniques. Also, students will be able to utilize their knowledge of theory, history, pedagogy, etc. in an applied activity. Refinement of ensemble skills toward the professional level will be an omnipresent goal in every rehearsal. 

Method and Frequency of Evaluations: Attendance supplies the basis grade to which Individual Performance and Professionalism grades are added. Students are evaluated throughout the semester in all three areas.

Grading Method: Each student should read the schedule of events for the entire semester including dress rehearsals, recordings, and concerts. The website postings will be considered accurate—Dates And Times Are Subject To Change—check often. Grades will be based on the following criteria: 
1. Attendance (provides “basis grade”—highest attainable grade) 
2. Individual performance preparation for daily rehearsal and concert performance (80% of grade)
3. Living up to expected ensemble standards (Professionalism) (20% of grade)

  • Rehearsal habits (i.e. no cell phones, hats, food, drink in rehearsal, etc.)
  • Punctuality (i.e. rehearsals, call times, travel departures, etc.)
  • Individual, Section, and Group responsibility
  • Concert dress requirements, etc.

***Note that concerts, dress rehearsals, and recording sessions cannot be made up, and missing one may result in failure of the entire course. These are capstone events and are weighted as such within the construct above. One should expect their grade to be lowered one letter for each unexcused absence from rehearsal.

A NOTE ABOUT PREPARATION: The quality of your experience in the Wind Synphony, (or any other group, for that matter) is directly related to the amount of energy and preparation you devote to the music. Our rehearsals will be efficient, exciting, energetic, enjoyable, and challenging, ONLY if EACH of you is fully prepared technically, musically, and emotionally to give your very best. The music we will explore together deserves nothing less. Rehearsals are not to be treated as practice sessions. Each of us MUST learn our music outside of the rehearsal block. This is the key to great music-making and challenging rehearsals. Don’t ever allow yourself to be the one who holds us back. Like so many things in life, you will gain from this experience only as much as you are willing to invest in it.

SECTIONALS: While the rehearsal schedule calls for three-hour rehearsals, we will rehearse two-and-a-half hours per rehearsal with a required weekly sectional of one hour. These sectionals are designed to be run by the students, who know best what the needs of the section are. Principal players will be in charge. Sectionals may occur at any time convenient for the entire section, BUT ALL PLAYERS MUST BE PRESENT. Please note that this is part of our six-hour class block and is not voluntary. 

CONCERT DRESS: Formal black. Tuxedo (all black), white shirt, black bow tie, black socks and shoes for gentlemen. Long, black, and covered outfit for women—appropriate evening dress (long dress, long skirt or pants with long-sleeved black top or jacket, and black hose with closed-toe black shoes). In other words, look professional. Professionals in large ensembles wear "flat black" in order to not detract from their art.

QUESTIONS: I am pleased to assist with your questions about ensemble and / or repertoire. Please do not hesitate to ask. Please use available professional staff and TAs for basic operations questions.

  • Music and Instruments: All Wind Band Conducting TAs
  • General Information and Room Booking: Main Office

PRINCIPALS: If you are assigned as the “principal” of a section, please communicate with the conductor as you see the need to ask questions, voice concerns, or share suggestions. Information benefits everyone. Principals will be asked to run “in-class” sectionals from time to time, and possibly one "out of class" sectional per concert rotation. Principals may also be consulted regarding part assignments within their section.

NOTE: Never schedule to play a recital or job on the same date as an IWS performance. Call times, dress rehearsals, and the like vary depending on the complexities of the performance. IWS performances are major school performances. Booking a recital on the same day is simply not smart for you and a disservice to everyone else in the ensemble. 

WEBSITE: Check the UI Bands Website at for lots of information including concert repertoire, reference recordings, weekly rehearsal schedule, and other useful items. Note your weekly rehearsal schedule website tab and bookmark it for easy access. It will be posted on Friday of each week with specific rehearsal times for every work so that you can prepare for rehearsals, and use your time intelligently when you may not be assigned to a particular work. This mechanism is intended to offer you the ability to plan professionally, and demonstrates a true respect for your time. Although timing often runs to the minute, please be flexible to start up to ten min. early or ten min. late on a particular work within the confines of the class time. The flow and progress of a specific rehearsal moment will not be disturbed by the micro-schedule. The micro-schedule within rehearsal is a basic design to help you plan and keep us in a proper schedule flow.


IMPORTANT IWS DATES and Tentative Repertoire for 2016-2017

FALL 2016

Sunday, September 25, 3:00 pm (shared concert with Wind Orchestra)

Lamb, Caveat
Purcell/Stucky, Funeral Music for Queen Mary
Hindemith, Symphony in B-flat
March TBA

Sunday, October 30, 3:00 pm

Halloween Concert

Whitacre, October
Grantham, Phantasticke Spirites
Moussorgsky/Hindsley, Night on Bald Mountain
Arnold/Paynter, Tam O’Shanter
Bach/Hunsberger, Toccata and Fugue in D-minor
Schwantner, From a Dark Millennium

Friday, December 2, 7:30 pm

Dzubay, Symphony No. 2 Through a Glass, Darkly
Pann, Four Factories
Hahn, Le Bal de Beatrice d’Este

 WEEK of December 5: Recording sessions for U of I Sesquicentennial Project.


Friday, February 17 , Saturday, February 18

9:00am-4:00pm U of I Wind Conducting Symposium

Please save these dates. Exact times t.b.a.

Friday, February 17, 7:30 pm

Mikulka, Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble
      Ronald Romm, soloist
Colgrass, Arctic Dreams
Berger, Serenade for Winds
Sousa, Hands Across the Sea

Tuesday, February 28, afteroon—exact time t.b.a.

Fieldsteel, At the Speed of Sound    *brass only

University Sesquicentennial Convocation, Krannert

Saturday, April 1, 7:30 pm

Dahl, Sinfonietta
Gould, Santa Fe Saga
Hartley, Concerto for 23 Winds
Hartley, Concerto No. 1 for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble

Wednesday, May 3, 7:30 pm

Cuong,  Premier TBA
Strauss, Vienna Philharmonic Fanfare
Bryant, Concerto for Wind Ensemble
Wilson, The Conjurer
     Jonathan Keeble, soloist
Sousa, University of Illinois March

Saturday, May 6, Time TBA

Superstate Festival Performance

Bryant, Concerto for Wind Ensemble
Sousa, University of Illinois March