top of page

Mission

The Piedmont Wind Symphony delivers exciting, professional performances of contemporary and traditional symphonic wind band music to the broadest audience possible and provides a creative platform from which musicians and composers may entertain, educate, and grow.

Vision

To be recognized as one of the nation’s premiere professional symphonic wind bands and as an essential contributor to our local and global arts communities through:

  • creatively pushing the boundaries of the traditional wind band

  • attracting top musical talent and providing opportunities for growth and development;

  • providing exciting, innovative, and inclusive programming to entertain a diverse audience;

  • engaging with local band programs and communities to foster the next generation of wind musicians; and

  • establishing the community, leadership, and financial infrastructure necessary to support our vision for decades to come.

Our History

The Piedmont Wind Symphony (PWS) was founded in 1989 by Rob Simon with seed money from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County and gave its first performance on April 10, 1990. The goal was to provide outstanding performances of works from the standard wind ensemble repertory in the style of Dr. Frederick Fennell and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. This style involves having just one player per part (with a few exceptions), which gives a cleaner, tighter sound than is possible with larger groups. Classical wind ensemble music includes all types and styles, from Renaissance to Contemporary, including Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Pops, Jazz, and Rock. PWS performs many of the band repertory’s most challenging works, classics for woodwind ensembles and brass choirs, and new compositions by living composers.

Our musicians come from all over the Piedmont Triad area of northwest North Carolina and represent many different professions. PWS continues to employ high-caliber professional musicians, many of whom hold several degrees in music and have extensive performing experience both regionally and abroad. PWS musicians are also active as educators at all levels, from private lessons and public/private schools to colleges. Several have played in military bands, and many play with one or more of the area orchestras, jazz groups, and other ensembles. Although most of our musicians are adults, we often have at least one college student and occasionally a talented high school student.

During the 25 years that Rob Simon was Conductor and Artistic Director, he brought many prominent guest artists to the community to stimulate the musical reach and creativity of PWS musicians. He added another layer to the diversity of musical entertainment in our City of the Arts. When Rob stepped down from the podium in 2015, he passed his baton to Maestro Matthew Troy, who wowed audiences with his innovative programming and community collaborations until stepping down in early 2020.

The pandemic forced the Piedmont Wind Symphony into a year of hibernation. Still, we have emerged with a new logo, a new Music Director, Mark Norman, and a renewed focus on continuing our history of providing exciting professional entertainment to the most diverse audiences possible, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic or religious background. Mark Norman has forged new collaborations with local organizations and businesses. He is taking Piedmont Wind Symphony and its music to new venues to help welcome all community members to the magic of live music. Please join our Piedmont Wind Symphony family as we embrace our identity as the only professional wind band between Atlanta and Washington, DC!

The Piedmont Wind Symphony is a distinguished wind band, not a traditional orchestral symphony. Without a string section, our ensemble features an extensive range of woodwind and brass players, complemented by a dynamic array of percussion instruments. This unique combination creates a powerful, dynamic, and crisp musical experience. Our repertoire spans classical, pops, jazz big band, and beyond, making us versatile collaborators with guest artists. Over the years, we have hosted accomplished performers such as Arturo Sandoval, Neil Sedaka, Paul Anka, Kenny G, Maynard Ferguson, Dionne Warwick, Ernie Watts, Frederick Fennell, America, Ben Folds, The Wailers, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Boyz II Men, and many others.

We are proud to call Winston-Salem our home and are privileged to share this community with many other great arts organizations. We have collaborated with The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, RiverRun Film Festival, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, and UNC School of the Arts. PWS has also partnered with composers to premiere new works, further enriching the cultural fabric of our region.

bottom of page