Community Concert Band


Solano Winds

The Solano Winds Community Concert Band is funded by donations, ticket sales and online music sales.
Copyright 2018  Solano Winds Community Concert Band. All rights reserved. 

The History of the Solano Winds

On December 9, 1995, a new community band took the stage in the auditorium at Will C. Wood High School in Vacaville. Comprised of 55 volunteer musicians under the direction of Robert O. Briggs, Solano Winds performed a program of eight classic selections from the Wind Band repertoire before a very receptive audience. Briggs, the just-retired Director Emeritus of the University of California Band in Berkeley, formed the ensemble along with Bill Doherty, the first President of the organization. It was apparent to everyone in the room that this new performing group was here to stay.

Now in our 24th Season, Solano Winds continues to provide band members and audiences an opportunity to enjoy music making. Over the years, many things have changed: we’ve moved rehearsal spaces from Fairfield High School, to Armijo High School, to Solano Community College, to our current location at Vanden High School. Rather than using all borrowed music as we did in 1995, we now maintain our own extensive music library. And to support our growth, our donor base has grown significantly since 1995, when we started with two important donors – Gordon’s Music & Sound and the Fairfield High School Scarlet Brigade Band Boosters.

During this time, though, many more things have stayed the same. Our commitment to perform high quality Wind Band literature well and to have fun while doing it has been a consistent staple of our organization. While some members have come and gone over the years, we continue to maintain a healthy blend of experienced and young musicians. Upon the passing of Bob Briggs in 2008, Bill Doherty was named as Music Director, continuing the traditions started when the band formed in 1995.

Since that premiere performance at Will C. Wood High School, we’ve performed at the Fairfield Community Center, the Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre, the Lesher Center for the Arts, and the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. In our second season, we performed as a part of the Carmichael Park Community Band Festival, and have performed in that Festival every year since that appearance. In 2013, we were honored with an invitation to perform at the Association of Concert Bands’ National Convention. Also in that second season, we embarked on what has become a tremendous relationship with the residents at Paradise Valley Estates, where we now perform four times each season. Through all of this, our performance home has been the intimate space on Texas Street, formerly the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts, now the Downtown Theatre, of which Solano Winds is a resident company.

Like any successful performing organization, we can credit our longevity to three factors: the care that our musicians place on mastering their musical performance, the appreciation consistently shown by our audiences, and the relationships that we’ve been able to build with each other over these first twenty seasons.