This 70-member ensemble for woodwind, brass and percussion players is open to students in grades 6 through 9 and plays high level wind ensemble literature. Some of the more advanced Junior Wind Ensemble players may be invited to work with MYSO's Sinfonia orchestra during the second half of the season, to rehearse and perform full orchestra repertoire in the Junior Symphony Orchestra. This is an excellent opportunity for young wind, brass and percussion players to broaden their musical exposure, gain playing time and more!
Thomas Dvorak is Emeritus Professor of Music/Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a position he held for 29 years, beginning in 1979, until his retirement in 2007. He is currently Music Director of MYSO’s Junior Wind Ensemble and Summer Wind Ensemble, where he also works extensively with students within its Chamber Ensemble Program.
He has appeared as guest conductor/guest lecturer in 29 states in the United States as well as Norway, Sweden, England, Ireland, France, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Japan and Australia. In 1994, he became the first American College Conductor to conduct at the University of Launceston's Summer Music School in Launceston, Tasmania. During that same period of time, he also served as the conducting teacher/mentor for the Conducting Symposium for the Australian Band and Orchestra Association Workshop for Conductors held in Melbourne. Following his appearances in Australia, Professor Dvorak led the UW-Milwaukee Bands on a concert tour of Australia, concluding with a performance for the Ninth Annual Conference of the Australian Band and Orchestra Association held in Melbourne. Following that performance, he conducted a concert with his university wind ensemble/symphony band at a performance at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Professor Dvorak began his teaching career in the public schools of Dodgeville and McFarland, Wisconsin. The McFarland Band Program, under his leadership, became a nationally recognized instrumental program, with performances and clinics at two national MENC conferences, grand prize winner of the Red River Valley Festival in Winnipeg, Canada, and for various performances at the Wisconsin Music Educator's Conference held in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1973, he was awarded a graduate fellowship for Doctoral Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1974, he was offered a faculty teaching position at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, as Assistant Professor of Music, where one of his responsibilities included the conducting and directorship of the University Youth Wind Ensemble. In 1978, he led the University of Michigan Youth Wind Ensemble to a performance at the Music Educator's National Conference meeting in Chicago. During the summer of 1978, and just prior to his appointment as Director of Bands at UW-Milwaukee, he was appointed conductor of the Summer Wind Ensemble, and teacher of conducting at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Professor Dvorak has received numerous awards during his career, including an "Outstanding Secondary Educator of America" award in 1974 for his distinguished achievements with the McFarland High School Band program; he has received the "Citation of Excellence" by the National Band Association for his contributions and achievements to bands six times. In 2010, he was invited by the National Band Association to serve as one of the Conducting Mentors for the their annual symposium of Young Composers and Young Conductors held at Illinois State University in Bloomington, IL.
Professor Dvorak’s former students now hold prominent conducting positions in middle/high school, college, professional and youth orchestra programs across the US, as well as with the United States Army Band. His guest conducting appearances have included all-state bands and inter-collegiate bands throughout the US. He is the author of many articles concerning repertoire, composers and conducting. Professor Dvorak is also the senior author of a repertoire series for schools bands entitled "Best Music for Beginning Bands," "Best Music for Young Bands," Volumes I and II and "Best Music for High School Band/Wind Ensemble" all published by Manhattan Beach Music. He is also co-editor/author of "Teaching Music through Performance in Beginning Band" published by G.I.A. Publications.
Professor Dvorak has been allowed to serve his profession in various professional associations, including past president of the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association (1990-1992) and as second vice president of the National Band Association (1990-1992); He also served for fourteen years as Chairman of the Band Composition Committee for the National Band Association and for three years as Chairman of the Young Band Composition Contest for the College Band Directors National Association.
His leadership and his commitment to the profession have involved him in changing, promoting and elevating music education and performances for students and bands/wind ensembles of all ages and at all levels of performance.
Nicholas J. Carlson serves on the faculty at the University of Illinois—Chicago where he is the assistant director of the Concert Band, director of the Athletic Band and adjunct lecturer. Prior to his work in Chicago he was a graduate associate for the UWM band department where he earned an MM with dual concentration in instrumental conducting and clarinet performance under the direction of John Climer and Todd Levy respectively. He served as the graduate conducting associate with the UWM University Band and UWM Youth Wind Ensembles and assisted with the overall administration of the university band program.
Mr. Carlson is an active educator and freelance clarinetist in the Midwest and performs regularly throughout the Milwaukee area. He was featured as guest soloist with the UWM Youth Wind Ensemble in the Fall of 2008, performing Donald Young's Clarinet Rhapsody. In April of 2009 he appeared as a soloist with the UWM Symphony Orchestra, performing the Artie Shaw Clarinet Concerto. Prior to moving to Milwaukee, Mr. Carlson attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where he earned his BMusEd degree. Mr. Carlson taught instrumental music in the La Crosse Area School District and maintained a large private lesson studio.