Concert Bands

The UK School of Music provides plentiful opportunities for students to participate in music making, whether as a music major, music minor on non-music student.

Auditions for most ensembles are held around the first week of classes each semester. Sign-up for auditions is normally posted on the bulletin boards on the lower level of the Fine Arts Building. For questions about participation in an ensemble, contact the ensemble director.

Wind Symphony

Director: Cody Birdwell     Course No.: MUC 188     Normal Rehearsal Schedule: MWF 2:00-3:50 PM

Audition Requirements: Auditions are held at the beginning of each semester and are open to the entire university community. Check with the Band office for details.

The University of Kentucky Wind Symphony consists of the finest wind and percussion graduate and undergraduate students in the nationally recognized UK School of Music. As the centerpiece of a band program that has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky for over 100 years, the Wind Symphony continues a rich tradition of performing the finest traditional and contemporary compositions in the concert band / chamber winds repertoire.  

The UK Wind Symphony has been invited to perform at many of the most prestigious events in the college band profession, including recent appearances at the College Band Directors National Association National Conferences at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro, University of Minnesota, and the University of Georgia.  The Wind Symphony has also been recently invited to perform at the CBDNA Southern Division Conferences in Nashville, Tennessee, and Oxford, Mississippi, and at the annual conference of the Kentucky Music Educator’s Association, held annually in Louisville.  

In 2008, the Wind Symphony traveled to the People’s Republic of China and performed for thousands of Chinese citizens in person and via broadcast during a ten-day concert tour of several of China’s most prominent cities and highly recognized concert venues.

Symphony Band

Director: George Boulden  |  Course No.: MUC 188  |  Normal Rehearsal Schedule: MWF 2:00-3:50 PM

Audition Requirements: Auditions are held at the beginning of each semester and are open to the entire university community.

The University of Kentucky Symphony Band is comprised of music majors and talented musicians from other majors. Auditions are held each semester and the ensemble performs music for large and chamber ensembles.

The UK Symphony Band was a featured ensemble at the 2003 and 2012 Kentucky Music Educators Association Conference in Louisville and the 2005 Southern Division MENC/Florida Music Educators Association Conference in Tampa, Florida. Additionally, the Symphony Band was invited to perform at the 2008 KMEA Conference and presented a diverse concert program at the annual state convention. In February of 2010 the UK Symphony Band was featured in a KMEA clinic performance entitled "That's Really Nice, Is That New?:Forgotten Gems for Concert Band, Grades 2-3."

The Symphony Band meets year-round and rehearses on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. The group is conducted by George R. Boulden, Associate Director of Bands.

Concert Band

Director: Dr. Dana M. Biggs  |  Course No.: MUC 187  |  Normal Rehearsal Schedule: Tuesday &Thursday - 3:30 to 4:50

Audition Requirements: No audition is required.

The University of Kentucky Concert Band is comprised of music and non-music majors, as well as talented musicians from the greater Lexington community. No audition is required to participate. Music education majors are encouraged to perform with the Concert Band on secondary instruments. The Concert Band performs one concert each semester.

Auditions & Scholarships

If you are auditioning for the Wind Symphony and Symphony Band:

  • Players need to report at the designated time to be assigned an audition number. Latecomers risk not being heard.
  • The audition sign up sheet for percussionists is on the Percussion Studio bulletin board.
  • Auditions are behind the screen and sight reading may be a part of the audition process.
  • Scholarship recipients must audition, per scholarship contract. All others interested in performing in the Wind Symphony or Symphony Band are encouraged to prepare and take an audition.
  • You do not have to take an audition on Monday or Tuesday.
  • Bring your instrument/equipment to our first rehearsal for seating and part assignment.

Still have questions? Call the UK Band Office, 859-257-2263. Best of luck to everyone.

Fall Auditions - August 23 - 25, 2019

Friday, August 23, (Singletary Center Recital Hall)
11:30 am: Bassoons | Audition Music (PDF)
12:30 pm: Oboes | Audition Music (PDF)

Saturday, August 24 (Singletary Center Recital Hall)
9 am: Trumpets | Audition Music (PDF)
11 am: Trombones | Audition Music (PDF)
9:30 am - 12:00 pm | Percussion | Audition Score (PDF)

Sunday, August 25 (Singletary Center Recital Hall)
1:00 pm: Horns | Audition Music (PDF)
2:00 pm: Clarinets | Audition Music (PDF)
3:45 pm: Flutes For Large Ensembles | Audition Music (PDF)
5:00 pm: Euphoniums | Audition Music (PDF)
5:00 pm: Saxophones (ROOM 17) | Audition Music (PDF)
6:30 pm: Tubas | Audition Music (PDF)

Saturday, August 24
9 - 11:30 am

Saxophones | Audition Music (PDF) (Audition Music SoundCloud)
Flutes | Audition Music (PDF)
Clarinets | Audition Music (PDF)
1-3 pm: Rhythm Section | Audition Music TBA

Sunday, August 25
1-3 pm: Bones | Audition Music (PDF)
3-5 pm: Trumpets | Audition Music (PDF)

Band Scholarships

The University of Kentucky Bands offers generous support to outstanding students who demonstrate the potential for superior musical performance as well as outstanding academic achievement. Performance-based scholarships are competitive and are determined through auditions with the members of the UK Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion faculty.  Awards include full and partial-tuition scholarships, and service awards are also available through several endowed scholarship programs including the Robert C. McDowell Scholarship Fund, Henry P. Ormsby Memorial Scholarship, UK Band Alumni Scholarships, and the Harry Clarke Band Scholarship. Scholarship awards are available to both music majors and non-music majors.

Scholarship Auditions

To schedule an audition, or for more information about UK Band scholarships, please call the UK Band Office, (859) 257-2263.