Encore Spring 2023

Wind Symphony

A Passion for Music in Europe

Members of the Wind Symphony pose with their director, Shawn Smith.

This May the BYU Wind Symphony will embark on a two-week extended tour to Spain and Portugal. Composed of 50 members representing brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments, the Wind Symphony will visit the Portuguese cities of Lisbon and Porto and the Spanish cities of Madrid, Bilbao, Barcelona, and Valencia. During their travels, the Wind Symphony will put on seven performances, including one in the historic 2,100-seat Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona. In addition to marches and arrangements of classical pieces, the ensemble will present feature works from their latest recordings of Latin music. 

Sightseeing in Madrid, meals at diverse restaurants, and worshipping with local Latter-day Saints are all exciting experiences that await the group. The Wind Symphony has not been abroad since 2019 because of the pandemic, and they are overjoyed to demonstrate their hard work and passion to audiences across Spain and Portugal in the universal language of music. 

This tour abroad will be the Wind Symphony’s first with new director Shawn Smith, who took over from longtime director Donald Peterson in 2021. When asked about the upcoming tour, Smith stated, “This is a life-changing opportunity for our students. [They will] learn what it means to be a professional musician, how to connect with people through music even when they cannot connect with them through language, how big and diverse our world is, and how the Church is a force for good throughout the world.” 

As BYU’s premier concert band, the Wind Symphony has been touring internationally since 1987. In February the ensemble received an invitation to be a featured guest and presenter at the prestigious World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Conference in Gwangju, South Korea, in July 2024.