Established in 2007, the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble (PSYWE) has quickly become the premier youth wind ensemble in Orange County, California. As one of only a handful of youth wind ensembles connected to a group one professional symphony orchestra (Pacific Symphony) in the United States, PSYWE is a high-level, pre-professional wind ensemble for dedicated and talented high school wind, brass, and percussionists from throughout Southern California.
Current Music Director Dr. Gregory X. Whitmore’s tenure began in the 2014-2015 season, and under Dr. Whitmore’s visionary artistic guidance, the PSYWE has undertaken commissions and world premieres of over six new works for band by renowned and emerging composers, including a world-premiere collaboration with composer Jules Pegram that won the 2019 College Band Directors National Association Frederick Fennell Composition Award. PSYWE continues to explore new music initiatives, and in the last ten years, PSYWE has welcomed over twelve guest conductors to Orange County for residencies with the ensemble, including top wind conductors at leading university schools of music. The PSYWE has also held over eleven composer residencies with composers such as Narong Prangcheron, Viet Cuong, Jules Pegram, Adam Schoenberg, Derrick Skye, Alex Shapiro, and many more. PSYWE has also collaborated in concert with over thirteen guest artists from across the United States.
In 2016-17, PSYWE celebrated its 10th anniversary season, culminating in a tour to Salzburg, and participation in the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival in Vienna, Austria, where the PSYWE took first prize in its category, with performances in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, the MuTh Concert Hall, and Vienna’s legendary Konzerthaus.
Representing over thirty schools in the Southern California region, PSYWE offers performance opportunities to instrumentalists in grades 9-12 and is one of four Youth Ensemble programs offered by Pacific Symphony. PSYWE provides members with an advanced and innovative artistic experience and strives to encourage musical and personal growth through the art of performance. Each season students enjoy an interaction with Maestro Carl St.Clair, as well as regular interactions with guest artists and professional musicians of Pacific Symphony. Students also engage in an annual weekend retreat and are offered free and discounted tickets to Pacific Symphony performances throughout the season.
During the season, PSYWE presents a three-concert series. PSYWE’s performance home is the world-class Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA. The PSYWE season begins in September and ends in May each year. Members are selected through annual auditions.
Previous PSYWE Music Directors:
Dr. Josh Roach - 2009 to 2013
Michael J. Corrigan - 2007 to 2008