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. New for 2022-2023 will be a Flute Choir that will perform once per semester as part of the CWRU Bands Chamber Ensembles Concert. An audition is required for seating and section placement each academic year (see below for details). 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 2-4 concerts each semester. 

Instructional Format

  • Absence Request Form
    • Students may request an absence from a regularly-scheduled rehearsal using the form linked below, but should review the attendance policy in the provided syllabus (below) first. Per the syllabus, dress rehearsals, soundcheck, and concerts are required and not available for absence requests. 
      • Please note, email requests will not be accepted
      • If you wish to submit an absence request, please use the form HERE (now available for Sp23)
  • Syllabus
  • Course Calendars - Please add these dates to your calendar now to avoid future conflicts. Calendars are updated as of 12/30/22
  • Auditions: All interested students will need to perform an audition. Please see below for more information. 

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.


  • 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.
  • Audition Scheduling Link:

A fall semester 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. Spring CUCSO ensemble assignments are created based upon the fall 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 Wednesday, January 18, 2023

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?

All black, please dress professionally. Note, this is a change from previous years in which we asked for concert black and white. Please refrain from wearing anything inappropriate or that which may distract from the performance.

When are auditions?

Auditions take place during the first week of the fall semester. New members can also audition during the first week of the spring semester.

When is the first rehearsal?

Because auditions take place during the first week of classes the actual first rehearsals will take place the second week of class

Where can I find the COVID-19 protocol?

The Department of Music will continue to follow CDC and CWRU COVID-19 guidelines. We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19-related developments throughout this year. As we have throughout the pandemic, leaders will adjust university practices in accordance with guidance from health experts from within and beyond the university. Learn more about CWRU's COVID-19 response.

How do I register for the course?

Request course permission in the Student Information System (SIS). Course permission will be granted after an audition is completed during the first week of class. Once you are “granted permission” you need to go back into SIS and complete your registration before the Drop/Add Period ends (second Friday of the semester). 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 school-owned instruments available to loan?

The Department of Music maintains a limited inventory of instruments for student use. Our instruments are not available for public use. A policy has been put in place by the Ensembles Committee to have students complete and sign a contract when borrowing school-owned instruments or equipment for very special circumstances. Please review our Policies and Operating Procedures for more information. 

Where are practice rooms?

CWRU music majors and students enrolled in music ensembles (MUEN) or applied music lessons (MUAP) are provided access to Haydn Hall and/or Denison Hall practice rooms. Please review our Policies and Operating Procedures for more information. 

Will I have after-hours building access?

All music majors and CWRU students enrolled in ensembles or lessons will automatically be activated for card swipe access to Denison Hall and Haydn Hall. Card swipe access will begin the first day of orientation for music majors and the Monday after drop/add for non-majors. Denison Hall operates on extended hours during the first two weeks of each semester. Please check in with the building monitor on staff if you have questions.

Is instrument storage available?

Instrumental Locker Policies and Requests
The Department of Music will make instrument storage lockers available to music majors and non-majors currently enrolled in official CWRU Department of Music ensembles, following established university guidelines and policies.

When does Symphonic Winds perform?

The Symphonic Winds course calendar is posted above. All performances held in the Maltz Performing Arts Center as part of the Silver Hall Concert Series are live-streamed for free 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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