The Youngstown State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble comprises our top wind and percussion students, performing a broad spectrum of marches, transcriptions, chamber music, and original works for winds. Under the direction of Dr. Stephen Gage, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble has been active in commissioning new wind band repertoire including compositions by Marilyn Shrude, Edward Largent (YSU faculty member), and Brett Miller (1999 YSU Graduate). The Symphonic Wind Ensemble has also participated in a consortiums which sponsored works by Gordon Goodwin and Thomas Duffey.
Recent guest composers, conductors, and performers include Karel Husa, Frank Ticheli, Anthony Iannacone, Donald Sinta, James Keene, Ed Lisk, Don Wilcox and David Gillingham. Husa, after a recent performance of his music by the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, call the performance "inspiring"; Ticheli stated that the ensemble "performed my music beautifully!" This ensemble has performed at the Ohio Music Educators Association (OMEA) State Convention, the College Band Director's National Association (CBDNA) Regional and National Conventions, the American School Bandmasters Association National Convention, and the National Association of University Administrators Convention.
The ensemble released its first produced CD in 1998, Lions and Jesters and Dragons, Oh My!, and released its second disc, Star Wars and Other Scores, in the fall of 2000. The YSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble was an integral part of the Century Label Recording Project which promoted new repertoire for school bands.