The Symphonic Wind Ensemble

This is Millikin's premiere large instrumental ensemble, tours annually, often performing in public schools throughout the Midwest. In 1985, 1992, 2000 and again in January 2012 the Symphonic Wind Ensemble was featured at the Illinois Music Educators Association Conference. In 1994 and 2009 the ensemble performed in Indianapolis at the Music Educators Association North Central Conference. Also, the Wind Ensemble traveled to NYC and performed under the direction of Frank Battisti, conductor Emeritus of the New England Conservatory of Music.

In March 1998, 2001 and 2005, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble traveled to the Dominican Republic for a musical outreach program performing concerts along the way. Members of the Millikin Wind Ensemble performed in Santo Domingo and La Romana and spent time demonstrating instruments to young students in public and private schools.  The Millikin band program also sponsored a drive for used instruments in the Decatur community and was able to donate many instruments to students in the DR.  In March 1999, Dr. Gary Shaw, conductor of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble was invited by the United States Information Agency and the City of La Romana to work with the Municipal Band of La Romana and give presentations to children in local schools.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble has released three compact disc recordings:  Postcard from the Prairie (2002), Tempered Steel (2003), and most recently, A Tribute to John Philip Sousa (2005). These recordings are produced by Millikin University's student run record label, First Step Records.


About the Conductor

Dr. Gary R. Shaw is Professor of Trombone and conductor of the Millikin symphonic Wind Ensemble at Millikin University. Dr. Shaw was conductor of the Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra from 1994- 2010 and currently is the director of the Greater Decatur Youth Band, a summer program for students in central Illinois. In March 1999, Dr. Shaw was invited by the United States Information Agency and the City of La Romana to work with the Municipal Band of La Romana and give presentations to local school children. He is a frequent guest conductor for band and orchestra festivals throughout the Midwest.

Dr. Shaw performs on trombone with the Millikin Faculty Brass Quintet, the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and is a soloist with the Decatur Municipal Band. In the summer of 2009, Dr. Shaw taught in Urbania, Italy, for Millikin’s 4-week summer immersion class in music, language and culture. He is the co-director of the Professor's Trombone Choir which performs at the Midwest Trombone Euphonium Conference held annually at Eastern Illinois University. He also performs with the Professor's Choir at the Southeast Trombone Symposium held at Columbus State University, Columbus, Georgia. Dr. Shaw has taught at the University of Illinois Summer Trombone Camp and the Illinois Honors Trombone Choir.

He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Master of Music degree from Boston University and the Bachelor of Music Education degree from the New England Conservatory of Music.