Whether they’re playing in front of a packed house in Douwstra Auditorium or lying on the beach while on tour in Mexico, the members of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble (SWE) love spending time together. “I look forward to going every Tuesday and Thursday. It’s the best part of my day,” says Emily Miner, a senior music education major from Donnellson.

SWE, an auditioned 50-piece instrumental group, is one of the premier ensembles on campus. They tour every year and have recently traveled to Memphis, New Orleans and Merida, Mexico. Miner says she has “uncountable memories” from those trips.

The friendships formed in SWE are only part of what makes the ensemble special. “I love the musicianship of the group,” says Chrystal Von Ahsen, a senior music education major from Adel. “We blend together well. It’s really nice to create something with other people.” 

Some of SWE’s recent favorite pieces include “American in Paris,” “Armenian Dance,” “Blue Shades” and the theme from “Superman.”