The Dallas Wind Symphony

P.O. Box 595026
Dallas, TX 75359-5026
214-565-9463 (565-WIND)
214-421-2263 FAX

Jerry Junkin, Artistic Director and Conductor 

Have Fun - Make Friends - Be AmazedThe Dallas Wind Symphony is the leading professional civilian wind band in the United States today. Comprised of 50 woodwind, brass and percussion players, the band performs an eclectic blend of musical styles ranging from Bach to Bernstein and Sousa to Strauss. They combine the tradition of the British brass band with the musical heritage of the American town band and the pioneering spirit of the 20th century wind ensemble.

The DWS makes its home in one of the world's greatest concert halls, Dallas' Morton H. Meyerson Concert Center, where it performs an annual concert subscription series. They have twelve highly acclaimed CDs on the Reference Recordings label under conductors Howard Dunn, Frederick Fennell and Jerry Junkin. In 1995, recognizing the Dallas Wind Symphony's importance to the community, the City of Dallas granted the windband use of the historic Fair Park Bandshell, both as a venue for summer outdoor concerts and as an administrative office.

Since its debut in 1985, the Dallas Wind Symphony has entertained more than a million people both at home and increasingly, on tour. Among those entertained was Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, for whom the DWS gave a command performance in March 1991.

Reasons for the popular success of the DWS are many - among them:

  • A contemporary sound growing from roots reaching back to the town band, the marching field and the concert stage;
  • Cleverly constructed thematic programming;
  • Inspired leadership from conductor Jerry Junkin;
  • Texas' strong band tradition providing virtuostic players.

The DWS has received outstanding critical acclaim for its twelve compact discs on the Reference Recordings label: The Brass and the Band, Fiesta!, Holst, Fennell Favorites, Testament, Trittico, Pomp & Pipes, Beachcomber, Arnold for Band, Holidays and Epiphanies - the Music of Ron Nelson, Marches I've Missed and Garden of Dreams. Trittico was named Best Classical Album of 1994 by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors and Arnold for Band was also nominated for this prestigious award. The DWS has sold over 100,000 copies of their recordings.  In 1998, the DWS founded its own record label, Widget Records, for the release of its first self-produced album, Strictly Sousa.

National Public Radio regularly broadcasts DWS performances on the syndicated shows Performance Today and Audiophile Audition.

How It All Began...

Howard Dunn, Kim CampbellOne Saturday morning in the Summer of 1985, SMU Music Professor Howard Dunn was sitting in his office catching up on some paperwork when a casually dressed young man with a trombone walked in the door. "Hello, my name is Kim Campbell," said the visitor, "Can I speak with you a moment?"

Always polite, Howard nodded and gestured to a chair. Kim sat and, getting right to the point, said, "I would like to start a reading band of the finest wind and percussion players in the city, and I want you to conduct it." Howard grinned broadly and without hesitation replied, "I've been waiting for you all my life!"

Thus was born the Dallas Wind Symphony.

During the next week, Kim kept the phone lines busy recruiting musicians while Howard gathered the most challenging wind ensemble repertoire in his library. On the following Saturday, the date agreed upon by the two gentlemen, an impressive group of musicians assembled in the SMU band room and, after tuning, began to sightread Holst's First Suite in Eb for Military Band.

Most of the musicians had not played in a band since high school or college and were unfamiliar with the repertoire available to the professional windband. Their excitement at the conclusion of the session signaled Kim and Howard that their idea had great possibilities.

Future reading sessions led to performances, first at Caruth Auditorium, then all over the Metroplex and finally to the annual concert series at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Although Howard Dunn is no longer with us, his spirit combined with Kim's enthusiasm and drive are still the guiding forces of the Dallas Wind Symphony.

Did You Know?

  • The Dallas Wind Symphony is one of only a handful of professional windbands in the USA.
  • The first windband to appear at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center was the DWS on February 6, 1990.
  • The DWS presented a command performance for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and counted Margaret Thatcher MP as an honored guest.
  • HOLST, performed by the DWS on the Reference Recordings label, is the first and only album comprising all the wind music written by Gustav Holst and the only recording to use his preferred instrumentation.
  • There are more windbands per capita in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area than anywhere else in the world.
  • The world premiere recording of Clifton Williams’ Symphonic Dance #3 can be heard on the DWS CD Fiesta!
  • The DWS album Fennell Favorites was recorded during a live concert at the Meyerson Center January 8, 1991 and is the only live album recorded by Dr. Frederick Fennell.
  • On May 21, 1991 the five conductors of the Washington military bands appeared together for the first time in history... conducting the DWS in the Meyerson Center.
  • The Dallas Wind Symphony is regularly heard on the National Public Radio programs Audiophile Audition and Performance Today.
  • The DWS albums TRITTICO and TESTAMENT were the first ever produced with the patented HDCD system (the highest quality CD recording process).