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. Participation will primarily be 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. 

Instructional Format (2020-21)

For the 2020-21 academic year, Symphonic Winds will be utilizing a “small” ensemble approach to allow us to maintain in-person rehearsals. Musicians will be divided into smaller ensembles and assigned a 30-minute rehearsal slot on Mondays and Wednesday evenings. Smaller ensembles will allow for greater distance between players and 30-minute rehearsals (followed by dedicated room clearing time) will allow any lingering aerosols to be cleared from the room via HVAC systems. A rotating schedule will be devised based on each student's course course schedule such that any small ensemble meetings occurring outside the SIS posted time of 7:00-8:30 do not conflict with your academic courses. 

Spring Semester 2021 Details
  • Syllabus
  • Course Calendar (Updated 2/12/21)
  • New Member Auditions: Due by January 15, 2021 (virtual submission). Only for those individuals who did not participate during Fall 2020. Please submit auditions HERE. Auditions requirement below.
  • Returning Members from Fall 2020 must register via SIS by January 15, 2021 and complete an information form HERE.
  • Small ensemble placements and schedule will be posted on January 25, 2021

Returning Member Form

New Member Audition Form

Ensemble Rotation for Wind and Percussion Players

Please review important information regarding ensemble rotation for wind and percussion players between Symphony Winds and Symphony Orchestra. *Please note, due to COVID-19, wind and percussion players will be most likely assigned to a wind or percussion only group while the Symphony Orchestra remains only for string players at this time.

Ensemble Rotation


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.
  • 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 (except for remote auditions).


For Spring 2021
Director: Ryan Scherber

MUEN 383-100: Symphonic Winds
MoWe 7:00-8:30 PM (Spartan Rehearsal Hall)
0-1 units
In-Person: This section is for students meeting in-person (studying on campus) and during the regularly scheduled meeting pattern; contact hours may be reduced and supplemented with remote instruction.

MUEN 383-101: Symphonic Winds
TBA (Location: TBA)
0-1 units
In-Person: This section is for students meeting in-person (studying on campus) and outside of the regularly scheduled meeting pattern; contact hours may be reduced and supplemented with remote instruction.

*Section 101 is for wind/percussion students studying on campus during the 2020-21 academic year and rotating between Symphony Orchestra/Symphonic Winds.

MUEN 383-800: Symphonic Winds
0-1 units
Remote-Asynchronous: This section is for all fully remote students; instructional contact hours are delivered in 100% remote format delivered asynchronously. There will be no specific meetings days and times; schedule to be arranged by students and instructor. 


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. During academic year 2020-2021 most, if not all orchestral ensembles will be strings only due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wind/percussion participants will be divided into smaller, like-instrument or mixed groups as instrumentation allows.

When is the first rehearsal?

The first rehearsals will take place during your assigned time (as indicated on ensemble assignments posted 1/25/21) during the first week of classes during spring 2021.

What provisions are being made due to COVID-19?

As a large symphonic band ensemble is not viable during a pandemic, all individuals who audition will be divided into smaller ensembles and assigned a rehearsal slot (based on availability). The current ensemble format will be determined based on auditions and course enrollment. Every effort will be made to work with student schedules and ensemble participation interests. Students may choose to participate in ensembles either in-person or remotely if the student chooses not to return to campus.

Health and safety protocols have been established based on the most current musician aerosol studies coming out of the University of Colorado at Boulder and data will be shared with students. Such data covers:

  • Specialized masks for playing (to be provided)
  • Bell covers (to be provided)
  • Appropriate distance between musicians
  • Appropriate maximum contact time in rehearsal and room clearing between groups for air transfer
  • Building entrance and egress protocols

Department of Music COVID-19 Information

How do I register for the course?

Request course 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 registration. 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. Instruments are not allowed to be shared during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Where are practice rooms?

Practice rooms are available in the Denison Hall Complex (@Wade Commons) 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.

Facilities Policies and Locker Information

When does Symphonic Winds perform?

The Symphonic Winds performance calendar will be distributed during auditions and the first week of class. For the 2020-21 academic year we will be broadcasting our performances that will include both our in-person and remote chamber groups.

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