band director conducting band on stage

University Band

Students who participated in high school band programs enjoy participating in the University Band, which provides an opportunity for musical performance, as well as making new friends. Students come from a wide variety of academic programs, as well as a number of music majors, and many play throughout their time at VCU.

No audition is required to participate. The University Band meets for 50-minute rehearsals three times per week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 3:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. and typically performs once each semester. Contact Duane Coston for more information.

Symphonic Wind Ensemble

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble has earned a reputation for performance excellence. Under the leadership of Terry Austin, they have been invited to perform at the American Bandmasters Association Convention, the MENC Southern Division Conference and the College Band Directors National Association Southern Division Conference, as well as numerous appearances at the Virginia Music Educators State Conference. The ensemble has performed at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. The VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, with clinician Ed Lisk, was also the featured ensemble in the instructional video “The Creative Director: Alternative Rehearsal Techniques,” published by Meredith Music.

Former VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble members can be found teaching across the country, from elementary school to the university level, and performing in U.S. military bands in Washington, D.C. and around the world.

Membership in the VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble is determined by auditions that are open to all qualified students. These auditions take place the first week of each semester and are heard by the conductors and the appropriate applied music faculty.

The VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble meets for 80-minute rehearsals three times per week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 1:20 p.m. and typically performs twice each semester. Remember to keep your schedule as open as possible to accommodate the ensemble you are assigned to play in. Students may not request to be in a specific ensemble.

Are you a current VCU Student and an instrumentalist wishing to play in the VCU Symphonic Wind Ensemble? Please visit the wind/brass audition web page or please contact Duane Coston, by email with the subject “Audition Information Request.”

Want to participate in the SWE Concerto Competition? Fill out this form and send it to Duane Coston at with the subject “Concerto Competition Application.”