The Metropolitan Wind Symphony was founded by Jerry Gardner in 1971 and was awarded the prestigious 2015 Sudler Silver Scroll Award for Community Concert Bands by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. Currently celebrating its 48th anniversary, Met Winds comprise over 60 talented woodwind, brass, and percussion instrumentalists who audition for membership and seating. The organization makes a significant contribution to the cultural life of the Greater Boston community by providing its audiences with high quality concerts and its members with opportunities for musical growth.
Met Winds presents formal performances of traditional and contemporary wind band literature, as well as more informal pops concerts throughout the metropolitan Boston area. Members rehearse Wednesdays from September through June, traveling from more than 30 communities in Massachusetts and neighboring states. Consisting of volunteers, members pursue a wide variety of careers including education, engineering, computer science, medicine, law, music, and public health.
The Metropolitan Wind Symphony Commissioning Fund, begun through an anonymous endowment, allows MetWinds to actively contribute to the wind band literature by annually commissioning new works. Our commissioning program has included four categories of composers. These include internationally-known composers James Curnow, Johan de Meij, Elliot Del Borgo, Peter Schickele, Guy Woolfenden, Chen Yi, Lewis Buckley, and Frank Ticheli. Massachusetts composers include Allen Feinstein, Peter Hazzard, Marjorie Merryman, and Greg Tucker. Emerging composers include David Dzubay, John Heins, and Greg Sanders. The first student composers commissioned by MetWinds were Hayato Hirose, Noah Taylor, and Jesse Brault, whose pieces premiered in 2005 and 2007, followed by Matthew LaRocca and Joseph Kaz in 2013.
In 2010 and 2011, MetWinds premiered fanfares by John Heins, Kevin Wilt, Joseph Eidson, and Alexandra Conza, winners of our 40th Season Fanfare Competition. Many of these works have been published and have been performed in the United States and abroad by other wind ensembles.
The Boston Festival of Bands, founded by MetWinds in 1989, includes bands from New England, the Mid-Atlantic states, and Canada. The Festival is celebrated annually at the historic Faneuil Hall in Boston on the second Saturday in June. The Continuum series, also founded by MetWinds, involves middle school, high school, and New England college bands in educational interaction and outreach. The latest Continuum was hosted by MIT at Kresge Auditorium in Cambridge in March, 2016. Besides the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, the concert featured the MIT Wind Ensemble and the Foxboro High School Wind Ensemble.
In April 2005 at the invitation of the New England College Band Association, Met Winds performed at their Gordon College conference. Met Winds is a member of the Association of Concert Bands (ACB), the national organization for concert bands, and has been selected twice to perform at the ACB National Convention: April 1994 in Burlington, VT and April 2012 in Poughkeepsie, NY. Met Winds has been heard on WGBH, WBUR and WCRB.