Mission and History

The Colorado Wind Ensemble’s mission is to provide opportunities for musicians to create, and audiences to experience, exceptional live performances of the rich and varied genres of music for woodwinds, brass, and percussion.

The CWE begins its 34th season in the fall of 2015 with newly appointed conductor and musical director Dr. David Kish. From 2004 to 2014, we were led by conductor and musical director Dr. Matthew J. Roeder, now our Conductor Laureate.

The Colorado Wind Ensemble was founded in 1983 by Steve Canton, Jacky Canton, and Conductor Emerita Martha E. Cox, who led the group for 22 seasons. The CWE is grateful for the vision and hard work that established this wonderful symphony of woodwinds, brass, and percussion!

The CWE’s history includes performances throughout the Denver metropolitan area, including the regional premiere of John Corigliano’s Circus Maximus with the University of Colorado Wind Ensemble at Boettcher Concert Hall.   In addition to performing at area concert halls, the CWE has performed at the Colorado Music Educators Association conference and at several regional arts festivals.

The CWE enjoys a rich history of collaboration with other performing arts organizations, including the Hannah Kahn Dance Company, Fiesta Colorado Dance Company, the Queen City Jazz Band, the Denver Brass, the Pan Jumbies, Stories on Stage, Voices West, the Arvada Chorale, the Cherry Creek Chorale, and many others.

The CWE is proud to feature wonderful guest soloists from the area on a regular basis, including saxophonist Mark Harris, trombonist Nat Wickham, tubist Michael Dunn, trumpeters Joe Docksey and Mike Hengst, clarinetist Andy Stevens, pianists Andrew Cooperstock and Bob Spillman, and percussionist William Hill.

The CWE regularly works with students in school programs, including Adams City High School, Westminster High School, Mountain Vista High School, Douglas County High School, Grandview High School, Thornton High School, Legacy High School, and in Denver Public Schools.  CWE musicians have worked with students in the Colorado Honor Band program for many years.  The CWE also provides students with easy access to concerts through our free and reduced price ticket program.