About the CWE

What is a wind ensemble? Think of it as a “wind orchestra” – the orchestral wind and percussion sections with added “color” instruments from the concert band, such as saxophones and euphonium. A wind ensemble is much like a traditional concert band, but each musician plays more as a soloist within a large group rather than as one member of a large section playing the same part.  The wind ensemble is one of the most dynamic performing groups in music today, with a constantly evolving repertoire.  Current composers are drawn to writing for wind ensemble for its instrumentation, the agility of its musicians, and its openness to new sounds and musical ideas.

The Colorado Wind Ensemble’s mission is to provide opportunities for musicians to create, and audiences to experience, exceptional live performances of wind ensemble music. Over seventy-five percent of the CWE’s musicians have degrees in music, over forty percent have advanced music degrees, and over fifty percent make their living in music fields. The CWE is the only wind ensemble in the metro area outside of academia.

We perform music from all eras and for groups of all sizes, including Renaissance ensembles, Baroque works, classical chamber pieces, marches, military and symphonic band works, and contemporary compositions that use all combinations of wind instruments imaginable. From Bach to Holst, Stravinsky to Schwantner, we love the challenge, excitement, and pleasure of playing diverse music of all kinds.

The CWE is in its 35th season and is conducted by Dr. David Kish.

The Colorado Wind Ensemble was founded in 1983 by Steve Canton, Jacky Canton, and Conductor Emerita Martha E. Cox, who led the Ensemble from 1983 to 2003. The CWE is grateful for the vision and hard work that established this wonderful symphony of woodwinds, brass, and percussion!  The CWE is also indebted to our Conductor Laureate, Dr. Matthew J. Roeder, who led the CWE from 2004 to 2014.