Music Department


Wind Ensemble

Frederick Harris, Jr., Music Director

Founded by Dr. Frederick Harris, Jr. in the fall of 1999, the MIT Wind Ensemble (21M.426) is comprised of undergraduate & graduate MIT students from a wide range of disciplines. Membership is open to students from other area colleges, but priority is given to MIT students. MITWE performs four concerts per year on the MIT campus and one off-campus. The central mission of the MIT Wind Ensemble is the enhancement of the musical education and artistic sensitivity of its members through study and performance of wind ensemble literature.

Wind Ensemble members perform music for large and small wind ensembles from the 16th century to the present day. Literature includes music for full wind ensemble, chamber winds, brass ensemble, percussion ensemble, and woodwind ensembles. Since 2001, the MIT Wind Ensemble has commissioned 20 original works for wind ensemble and has worked with Gunther Schuller, John Harbison, and Michael Colgrass, and many other prominent composers. The MITWE has collaborated with the MIT Concert Choir, MIT Chamber Chorus, MIT Dance Theater Ensemble as well as professional vocalists, and jazz musicians from all over the world. MIT Affliliated Artist and tuba player of the Empire Brass, Kenneth Amis, is the Assistant Conductor of MITWE.

MITWE has two professional CDs, Waking Winds (2004, Grammophone) and Solo Eclipse (2008, Albany Records). To purchase them contact

In 2010, MITWE will release a new double CD, a compilation of 10 years of live performances.


Mondays and Wednesdays 7:00 – 9:30pm in Kresge Auditorium.


Auditions are by appointment only. Contact Vanessa Gardner in the Concerts Office, Rm. 4-243 or email to schedule an audition time.

Audition Requirements

Chromatic scale the full range of your instrument as you are able, brief sight-reading (focusing on rhythmic reading ability), and a brief solo piece or etude of your choice which best demonstrates your musicianship and overall ability. Your choice should include passages that are slow and lyrical and ones that demonstrate your technical facility.

Percussionists Note: You are encouraged (but not required) to audition on at least two of the three major percussion instruments (timpani, mallet instruments, snare drum). Timpani auditions will include basic tuning, snare drum auditions will include basic rudiments, and mallet auditions will include scales.


MIT Wind Ensemble, Frederick Harris, Director
Charles Ives, Variations on America


MIT Wind Ensemble


Visit the Wind Ensemble website.


The MIT Wind Ensemble – the woodwinds mostly women, the brass and percussion mostly men – are all Techies; some of them may do double majors..., but for nearly all of them, playing their instrument is a serious avocation.... one heard some really excellent playing and very good ensemble nevertheless in this group, ably directed by Frederick Harris, Jr.”

Mark DeVoto
The Boston Musical Intelligencer