Crane Winds and Percussion Performance

Wind Bands

Crane Wind Ensemble

Conductor: Dr. Brian K. Doyle

The Crane Wind Ensemble (CWE) comprises 58 of the most outstanding wind and percussion majors in The Crane School of Music.  The CWE performs as a full wind band and also in smaller chamber groups with varied instrumentation.  This group is dedicated to the performance of the finest wind repertoire, regardless of period or disposition of instrumental forces.  The CWE is also committed to performing music of our time and is active in working with composers in the commissioning of new works to support this goal.  Recent premieres include works by Kristin Custer, Roshanne Etezady, Joel Puckett, Steven Bryant, David Heinick (Crane School faculty member), James Mobberley, Christopher Theofanidis, and Crane School faculty member Gregory Wanamaker. In 2014, the CWE released the CD Adirondack Songs.

The CWE performs at least three performances in the fall and two in the spring.  The ensemble also tours regularly.  Recent off-campus performances include concerts at the NYSSMA Winter Conference and at the NYSBDA Winter Symposium.

The membership is determined by audition at the beginning of each semester. Audition material and times may be obtained by consulting the studio teacher of your instrument. 
The Gum Suckers March by Percy Aldridge Grainger
The Crane Wind Ensemble, Brian Doyle, Conductor, from the CD Adirondack Songs.

Crane Concert Band & Crane Symphony Band

Conductor, Crane Concert Band: Dr. James Madeja
Conductor, Crane Symphony Band: Dr. Brian K. Doyle

The Crane Concert Band and Symphonic Band are co-equal wind & percussion ensembles at the Crane School of Music. The personnel in these ensembles consist primarily of music majors, although exceptionally talented non-majors have earned placement as well.

The Concert and Symphonic Band perform twice each semester, sharing their first concert. Their repertoire includes a broad variety of literature from traditional and contemporary genres. The membership is determined by audition at the beginning of each semester. Audition material and times may be obtained by consulting the studio teacher of your instrument.

Campus Community Band

Conductor: Dr. Caron Collins

Non-auditioning concert band for Crane music majors, Liberal Arts students, college faculty and staff, and community members who play wind, brass, percussion, electronic, keyboard, or non-traditional instruments. Weekly rehearsals on a variety of concert band music of different genres culminate in a final exam informal performance. All students collaborate in teams by designing, delivering, or assisting in music projects to investigate meaningful understandings of our chosen literature. The course is especially helpful for Crane music majors who wish to gain leadership experience utilizing the Curious, Collaborative Creativity (CCC) approach of instruction on secondary instruments. For more, see

Jazz Performing Groups

Director of Jazz Studies: Professor Bret Zvacek

Membership in these groups is determined by audition at the beginning of each semester. For audition times and material, consult the Director of Jazz Studies.

Both the Crane Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Band are jazz big-bands open by audition. The Crane Jazz Ensemble is the premier performance group in the Jazz Studies program at The Crane School of Music. The Crane Jazz Ensemble tours regularly, appearing at schools, conferences, and jazz festivals, including multiple awards for individual and ensemble performance at the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival in 1993, 1992, and1989. The ensemble has performed with such guest artists as Marian McPartland, Marvin Stamm, Dave Stahl, and the Billy Taylor Trio, and has appeared at the Musicfest USA 1990 National Finals, the New York State School Music Association Winter Conference, and the Marine Midland, Villanova University and College of Saint Rose Jazz Festivals. 

The Jazz Studies program at Crane also includes Small Jazz Groups, including the elite Giroux Honors Jazz Combo. In addition to performance opportunities, the program includes class offerings in improvisation, arranging, history and pedagogy, with recent on campus performances by such artists as Arturo Sandoval, Bobby McFerrin, Branford Marsalis, Kenny Wheeler, The Count Basie Orchestra, New York Voices and others. Recent additions to the Jazz Studies program include a fully equipped improvisation lab, and a nationally recognized student chapter of the National Association of Jazz Educators.

Crane Percussion Ensembles

Percussion Area Head: Professor James Petercsak

All students with a percussion performance concentration are invited to participate in the Crane Percussion Ensemble, Crane Marimba Band, and the Repertory Percussion Ensemble.

Knocktet (2010) by Daniel Kessner
The Crane Percussion Ensemble, James Petercsak, conductor, recorded live, March 29, 2011.

Latin Ensemble

Director: Dr. Marsha Baxter

Latin Ensemble is an auditioned ensemble of voice, percussion, piano, guitar, brass and woodwind performers. Find them on Facebook at

West African Drum and Dance Ensemble

Director: Dr. Julie Hunter This group performs music from Ghana, Togo, and neighboring countries in West Africa featuring a combination of drumming, singing, and dancing through oral transmission rather than written scores. Open to all students regardless of previous musical background.

Chamber and Like Ensembles

Chamber Wind Groups, Woodwind Quintets, Brass Quintets (including the elite Frackenpohl Honors Brass Quintet), and other "like instrument" ensembles (e.g., trombone, horn, saxophone, flute) are formed by the applied teachers in the various studio areas at the beginning of each semester. Obtain further information from the appropriate faculty member.