Wind Orchestra on stage

About the Concert Bands

The Cal Poly Wind Ensemble and Wind Orchestra enjoys a national as well as international reputation for musical excellence. Each year, these ensembles perform several major concerts in the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center and often goes on national and international tours. Through numerous special invitations, the Wind Ensemble has performed in many of the world’s finest concert halls including Beethoven Hall at the Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo, the Town Hall in Auckland, New Zealand, the Michael Fowler Performing Arts Centre in Wellington, New Zealand, the Sydney Opera House and the Town Hall in Sydney, Australia, Douglas College in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, St. John's Smith Square in London, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Cal Poly Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble

Both concert bands are comprised of 40-50 musicians who hail from nearly every major across campus. Generally speaking, the Wind Orchestra is open to all students by audition; the Wind Ensemble is open to all students who meet the performance and repertoire needs of the year. The bands produce a concert at least once near the end of each academic term. Each group meets as a class twice each week. Since they meet at different times, there are a few students who play in both groups!

Cal Poly Wind Band

On occasion, the two classes will combine. This will happen for certain large-scale performances or for voluntary overseas travel.

Chamber Ensembles

For certain programs, we will use smaller forces appropriate to specifc works. These experiences provide opportunities for more individual expression and collaborative decision-making within the ensemble.

Start-of-Term Information Meeting

We'll host an information meeting at 7:10PM, Monday, September 25 to discuss plans and repertoire. We will meet in Building 45, Room 216. (Thats's the large ensemble rehearsal space in the Music & Theater Building.) We'll introduce fellow musicians and bring any questions you might have about Cal Poly Bands!


Carnegie Hall PerformanceThe ensemble made its debut in Carnegie Hall, in New York City on April 3, 2003 as a part of the New York City Wind Band Festival. In July, 2006, the Cal Poly Wind Ensemble and the PolyPhonics (university choir) went on an eighteen-day concert tour of Hungary, Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic performing in such halls as the Karlskirche Cathedral in Vienna and Smetana Hall in Prague. The combined ensembles also performed the opening concerts for the Mid-Europe Conference held in Schladming, Austria.

On several occasions the Cal Poly Wind Ensemble has performed at Western Division conferences of the College Band Directors National Association and the California Music Educators Association. The ensemble’s first performance for The American Bandmasters Association (ABA) was in March of 1991 on the campus of Arizona State University. Other performances for the ABA were on March 5, 1997 in San Diego and March 7, 2007 in San Luis Obispo. The Wind Ensemble will once again perform for ABA in March 2016. On February 22, 2008 the Wind Ensemble performed an evening concert for the members of the California All-State Honor Bands and conference delegates of the California Band Directors Association.

The Cal Poly Wind Ensemble made its debut performance in the Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles) on June 22, 2010. The performance received rave reviews and is being distributed as LIVE! In The Walt Disney Concert Hall (CD) by Mark Custom.

Upcoming Events

More events & ticketing

Student Spotlight

Would you like to know more?

All prospective and current Cal Poly students interested in joining the Wind Ensemble or Wind Orchestra should fill out our Online Interest Form.

We enjoy meeting new students and encourage you to send an email if you have any questions or plan to visit campus. Contact information for directors and all band faculty and staff can be found on our contacts page.