About Us

TARA WINDS is an all-adult symphonic band with membership ranging from college students and first year teachers to retired music educators. The culture of the organization is to promote an environment of musical excellence for networking, mentoring, and collaboration. Tara Winds seeks to enhance the lives of children and adults through the transforming power of music and believes that music changes our perspective, to see the world artistically different. The mission of the organization is to present the world’s finest symphonic band music with passionate and engaging concerts at the highest level of professional standards and provide educational programs and opportunities for young aspiring musicians. The desired outcome of the ensemble is to provide concert experiences that are meaningful, creative, moving, and enjoyable for everyone. “Music: Enjoyment for All Ages” is the motto of Tara Winds to inspire the community with excellence in musical performance. More information can be found at tarawinds.org.

Under the direction of Dr. Andrea Strauss, Tara Winds is recognized as one of the finest adult ensembles of its kind. It has presented invitational performances for numerous regional and national music conferences. The organization has the distinction of having performed 3 times (1994, 2001, and 2015) for the Midwest International Band & Orchestra Clinic which by an audition process, invites only the very best musical ensembles in the world. Tara Winds has performed for the 1989, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2014, and 2019 Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conferences, more than any other community band in Georgia's history. Additional noteworthy performances include the 1990, 2004, 2008, and 2012 Southern Division CBDNA/NBA Conventions, the 2006 Western International Band Conference, the 1993, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2017 University of Georgia High School Music Festival, the 2013 University of Alabama Honor Band Festival, the 2004 and 2010 University of Southern Mississippi All-South Band Clinic, the 2017 Troy University SEUS Band Clinic, the 1999 American Bandmasters Association National Convention, the 1999 Bands of America Regional Concert Festival, the 1997 Atlanta International Band and Orchestra Conference, and the 1990 University of South Carolina Band Clinic and Conductor's Symposium. The Tara Winds educational outreach initiative has included performances with the American Youth Ensembles in cooperation with Conn-Selmer, Inc.

Recent world premiere performances and commissioned original works have been "Just Flying'! (2015) by Julie Giroux, Garden of Hope (2018) by Luigi Zaninelli, Two Forbidden Fruits (2019) by Luigi Zaninelli, and we anticipate a new commissioned work in 2020 by Mark Camphouse.

In 2018 members of Tara Winds traveled to Germany celebrating the ensemble's 30th Anniversary collaborating with a band in Rangendingen and the Mannheimer Blaserphilharmonie. In 2005, members of the band traveled to Rome, Italy and performed highly acclaimed concerts in its first international tour. In 2008 and 2009, members returned to Italy to perform concerts in Rome, Sicily and the province of Matera with local Italian musicians.

Tara Winds has performed under the batons of internationally-known composers Mark Camphouse · Quincy Hilliard · Francis McBeth · Steve Melillo · Ron Nelson · Robert Sheldon.

Guest soloists include Jamey Aebersold · Laurel Beard · Christopher Bill · Julian Bliss · Carlo Calcagnini · Katie Gatch · Amber Greer · Vince DiMartino · Alok John · James Land · Linda Volman Lane · Dr. Thomas Liley · Tom (Bones) Malone · Amy McCabe · Matthew McCord· Dr. Deborah Popham · Patrick Sheridan · John Strauss · Harry Watters · Cecil Welch · Russell Wilson · Jay Wucher.

Guest conductors include Dr. Bobby Adams · Dr. Virginia Allen · Dr. Robert Ambrose · Dr. Sam Baltzer · Kenneth Beard · Col. John R. Bourgeois · Dr. Kerry Bryant · Col. William Clark · Erin Cole · Randall Coleman · James Copenhaver · Robert Cowles · Paula Crider · Dr. James Croft · Maestro Fulvio Creux · Ed Davis · Dr. Stan DeJarnett · Dr. Rodney Dorsey · Dr. Frederick Fennell · Christopher Ferrell · Frank Folds · D. Alan Fowler · Dr. Thomas Fraschillo · Matt Fuller · Dr. Jerry Gatch · Col. Hal Gibson · CWO2 Steve Giove, USMC · Col. Lowell Graham · Roy Holder · Dr. WJ Julian · Dr. David Kehler · Mark Kelly · Stan Kramer · Dr. Mary Land · Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser · Dr. John Locke · Dr. John Lynch · Freddy Martin · Matthew McCord · Boyd McKeown · Dr. William J. Moody · Dr. John Odom · Michael Puckett · Dr. Myra Rhoden · Dr. Robert Rumbelow · Jimmy Saied (as John Philip Sousa) · Dr. Dwight Satterwhite · Lt. Col. Beth Steele · Dr. Scott Stewart · Dr. Mallory Thompson · Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner · Steven Tyndall · Dr. David Vandewalker · Larry Volman · Alfred Watkins · Frank Wickes · Dan Wilson · Dennis Zeisler. Commissioned composers have been Julie Giroux · Samuel Hazo · Robert Sheldon · Luigi Zaninelli.

Map of Tara Winds Performances