Symphonic Winds

Bird's Eye view of SW
Dr. Ryan Scherber
Course Number
MUEN 383
Rehearsal Day/Time
MoWe, 7:00-8:30 PM
Rehearsal Location
Spartan Rehearsal Hall
Participation Information

Requires audition.


The Case Western Reserve University Symphonic Winds, under direction of Dr. Ryan Scherber, is the umbrella organization for all wind band ensembles open to CWRU and CIM wind, brass, and percussion players. Both undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to join as well as staff or faculty. We generally perform for two to three times per semester at the Maltz Performing Arts Center as part of the Silver Hall Concert Series. Participation is primarily within the main Symphonic Winds Ensemble, a traditional concert band setting open to all interested musicians. At certain times, a select group of musicians may be selected to participate in the CWRU Chamber Winds or CWRU Wind Orchestra when needed based on the repertoire to be performed. These ensembles are traditionally one player per part and rehearse during the same rehearsal times as Symphonic Winds when these ensembles are in operation. An audition is required for seating and section placement each academic year (see below for details).

An audition for Symphonic Winds also counts as an audition for the Case University Circle Symphony Orchestra as our wind and percussion majors rotate between both primary ensembles based on audition. Symphonic Winds and its associated groups are dedicated to the performance of the most advanced repertoire written for the wind band medium. This ensemble rehearses Mo/We evening from 7:00-8:30 PM and performs 2-3 concerts each semester. 

Ensemble Placement of Wind and Percussion Players

All wind and percussion players interested in performing with either Symphonic Winds or the Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra should plan to complete a singular audition following the audition guidelines below on this page. All auditioning players are considered for membership in both ensembles. As orchestral literature is traditionally performed with one musician per part, this repertoire requires confident and highly musical players. As such, there are limited wind and percussion slots available. These parts will be given to only the highest level performers based upon their Symphonic Winds audition. In order to give as many wind players the opportunity to perform in the Symphony Orchestra as possible as well as maintain musical excellence across our primary ensembles, students will rotate between Symphonic Winds (which rehearses at the same time) and Symphony Orchestra by semester. These ensemble assignments will be emailed to those auditioning by the end of the audition period and before the add/drop period ends. Under certain circumstances, some students will be assigned to play with both ensembles during one semester, however great care will be given to the student's rehearsal schedule to be respectful of their time. If a student is assigned to both ensembles within one semester, detailed instructions will be sent to the student pertaining to rehearsal schedule and course registration by directors of both ensembles.

Instructional Format (2021-2022)

Details pertaining to operational plans can be found on the ensembles general information page


  • Syllabus (updated 1/10/2022)
  • Course Calendar (Fall semester, Updated 1/2/22) - Please add these dates to your calendar now to avoid future conflicts. 
  • Auditions: All interested students will need to perform an audition. For Spring 2022, audition will be virtual, please see information below.


  • Woodwinds & Brass
    • Prepare 2 excerpts (one technical and one lyrical) that demonstrate technical facility, musicality, and overall control of the instrument. Each selection should not exceed 3-4 minutes.
    • Major scales, in 2 or 3 octaves where possible, may be asked at the discretion of the Director.
  • Percussion
    • Prepare both a mallet (four-hands if possible) excerpt and a snare excerpt; a timpani excerpt is recommended if you wish to be assigned timpani parts during the course of the academic year.
    • Scales and rudiments may be asked at the discretion of the adjudicator.
    • Percussion auditions will occur Tuesday evening, August 24th beginning at 6:30 PM. Audition time signups will be available starting August 2nd using a link that will be posted below.

Electronic Audition Scheduling

  • For Spring 2022, auditions will be submitted virtually using the link HERE. Please submit your audition video no later than Sunday, 1/9, at 6:00 PM. These are only for new members, returning members who auditioned in Fall 2021 do not have to re-audition.


Can wind and percussion players audition for Symphonic Winds and Symphony Orchestra?

All wind and percussion players audition for Symphonic Winds. Each semester, a select list of wind and percussionists from those who audition will be assigned to play in Symphony Orchestra only if winds and percussion members are needed. 

When is the first rehearsal?

The first rehearsals will take place for both Symphonic Winds and the Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra on Monday, August 30th, 2021.

Are graduate students able to participate?

Absolutely! We welcome students from all programs and degrees. Following your audition, please discuss course registration with Dr. Scherber to follow the appropriate process with your respective school.

I have a course conflict during fall semester, am I still able to participate during spring semester?

Yes. While we certainly hope you would consider performing with us all year, we will hold auditions at the beginning of spring semester for those wishing to join halfway through the year. This date will be listed on the spring semester course calendar when it is posted. Please note, only those who audition in the fall and perform for an entire academic year are able to be considered for a semester placement in the Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra.

What is the required concert attire?

Formal black: All black or black and white. Tuxedoes or black suits are acceptable. Please refrain from wearing anything inappropriate or that which may distract from the performance.

How do I register for the course?

Following their audition, students should request course enrollment permission in the Student Information System (SIS). Course permission will be granted after an audition has been completed during the first week of class. Permission requests will remain pending until the end of audition week. Once you are “granted permission” you need to go back into SIS and complete your enrollment. Students must officially register to participate in the ensemble. 

What is the difference between registering for 0.0, 0.5, or 1.00 credit units?

Most academic ensembles (MUEN) are offered at variable credit to allow students the choice based on total credit load and personal preference. Music majors should check their academic requirements before selecting the credit amount. 

Are instruments available?

Specialty and large instruments are available on a limited basis for use by those enrolled in our academic ensembles. 

Where are practice rooms?

Practice rooms are available in the Wade/Denison Facility during posted open hours on a scheduled basis. Please see the facilities policy link below for more information.

Is instrument storage available?

Lockers are available for music majors, minors, and non-majors who participate in an academic ensemble. Please note, due to the busy start of term, it may take us a bit to respond to all requests and we ask for your patience. Please see our locker policies and request form HERE.

When does Symphonic Winds perform?

The Symphonic Winds course calendar is posted above under Fall 2021 details. All performances held in the Maltz Performing Arts Center are live-streamed for free at this LINK concurrently with the posted concert time. All concerts occur in eastern time.

Registration via SIS

Director: Dr. Ryan V. Scherber

MUEN 383-100: Symphonic Winds
MoWe 7:00-8:30 PM (Spartan Rehearsal Hall)
0-1 units

MUEN 383-101: Symphonic Winds
TBA (Location: TBA)
0-1 units
This section is for students rotating between both Symphonic Winds and Symphony Orchestra. This section should only be used when directed to do so by the ensemble instructor.

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