The Virginia Wind Symphony
The Virginia Wind Symphony, organized in 1994 by Dennis J. Zeisler, is a wind ensemble made up of professional musicians, military musicians, public and private school teachers, independent music instructors and Old Dominion University students. The group was created to provide a musical outlet for musicians throughout the Hampton Roads area and is dedicated to playing the finest original and transcribed wind literature available. Members benefit from the positive musical experiences brought about by music making in a spirit of camaraderie, and the opportunity to serve the region -- through a life-long love of music -- with concerts throughout the year.
The VWS has recorded six commercial compact discs featuring Frank Erickson Band Classics, music of Claude T. Smith, and with soloist Lynn Klock, a collective recording of solo saxophone literature with band accompaniment. These cd’s are used nationally and internationally as standard band reference and resource material in the field of music education.
The Virginia Wind Symphony was invited three times to perform at the Midwest Clinic -International Band and Orchestra Conference Chicago: December 2004, 2012 and 2017. The VWS Performed was also invited twice to perform for the American Bandmasters Conventions: ABA Williamsburg, VA 2004, ABA Norfolk, VA 2011.
The Virginia Wind Symphony is honored to be a recipient of the John Philip Sousa Foundations' Sudler Silver Scroll Award! The Sudler Silver Scroll award is an international award to identify, recognize and honor those community bands that have demonstrated particularly high standards of excellence in concert activities over a period of time, and which have played a significant and leading role in the cultural and musical environment in their respective communities.
The Virginia Wind Symphony has a unique partnership with the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Salem High School and the F. Ludwig Diehn School of Music at Old Dominion University. Through this partnership, the group has played for and accompanied the finest conductors and soloists, both nationally and internationally. Soloists have included: The American Brass Quartet, Oysten Baadsvik, Brian Bowman, Sam Hazo, Earle Louder, Lynn Klock, Anthony McGill, Brandon Ridenour, ODU Percussion Quartet, Patrick Sheridan, Michael Sweeney, Wayne Tice, The West Point Saxophone Quartet, Dale Underwood, David Walker and James Walker. The Virginia Wind Symphony has been conducted by the following members of the American Bandmasters Association (ABA): Terry Austin, Jim Barnes, Marcellus Brown, Harry Begian, Col. John Bougeois, Frederick Fennell, Johan, de Meij, Ed Downing, Frank, Erickson, Col. Andy Esch, Emery Fears, Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, David Gillingham, Julie Giroux, Col. Lowell Graham, Michael Haithcock, David R. Holsinger, Donald Hunsberger James, Keene, Edward List, Dr. Linda Moorhouse, Col. Thomas Palmatier, H. Robert Reynolds, Col. Thomas Rotundi, Loras John Schissel, Capt. Brian Walden, Myron Welch, Frank Wickes, Chris Wilhjelm. Through our partnership, we have been able to share the talents of these conductors/ composers with not only our young musicians at VPAA and ODU, but with students and community members throughout the Hampton Roads area.