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University of the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble

University of the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble at the University of the Pacific is comprised of the most accomplished wind, brass and percussion students from various grade levels. They perform under the direction of Dr. Eric Hammer, Pacific Director of Bands. Known on campus as SWE (pronounced “swee”), the ensemble’s membership totals 50 students and is open to all University students by audition. Repertoire is drawn from the standards for concert band, as well as challenging new works by a variety of composers that explore the full range of what a symphonic wind ensemble can perform.

SWE performs regularly on campus and as University ambassadors through annual tours and performances at high schools, colleges, and professional conferences. In January 2008, they completed a tour of northern California, Oregon, and Washington, which was followed by a recording session, produced by Pacific students and faculty that became their first CD.

In December 2012, at the conclusion of a week-long student-managed tour of San Francisco Bay Area high schools and concert halls, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble recorded at the Skywalker Sound in Marin County. The new album, Reminiscences, was beautifully recorded by Grammy-winning engineer, Leslie Ann Jones, at the world-renowned Skywalker Sound scoring stage. On it, the ensemble performed eight tracks of engaging music that include the lead track, “Kokopelli’s Dance,” by Nathan Tanouye, to the avant-garde work of composer Philip Glass, whose “Quartet for Saxophones” is featured. Post-production of the recordings was done at Pacific’s own Owen Hall Studio by students and Studio Manager Jeff Crawford.

In addition to providing a platform to display the group’s musical artistry, the ensemble provides a variety of real world experiences such as touring, budgeting, promotion, recruiting, recording, and being advocates for the importance of music in our society. From music performance majors recording and performing in a world-class recording studio with renowned engineers to the partnership SWE forged with music management students and Pacific’s student-run record label, PacAve Records, to release the new album, hands on learning is the focus. In this way, the ensemble serves as the stepping stone for Pacific students to gain experience doing the things they plan to do after graduation.

Reminiscences (PAR-1001) debuted at a sold out SWE concert on April 13, 2013, and is available on the Pacific Campus, and through CD Baby iTunes, eMusic, and other digital music distributors.

For more information on the ensemble or Reminiscences, contact Pac Ave Records at: or by calling (209) 932-2945.