The Solano Winds Community Concert Band is funded by donations, ticket sales and online music sales.
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The History of the Solano Winds
Solano Winds is proud to celebrate its 25th season this year, remembering our past and looking forward to a very bright future. Solano County got its own community concert band in 1995 when Robert O. Briggs retired as Director of Bands at the University of California at Berkeley and organized Solano Winds. From the first performance in December 1995, the ensemble has delighted audiences and built a loyal following.
At our core has always been the 55-65 volunteer musicians who dedicate one evening each week to preparing performances for our local audiences. Solano Winds prepares four formal concerts each season, playing music that covers the range of classical, jazz, pop, and patriotic, as well as repertoire from the stage and screen. Over the years, musicians from ten counties have played with the band at one time or another. Solano County, though, is always most strongly represented.
Musicians have followed Solano Winds through five rehearsal “homes” – Fairfield High School, Armijo High School, Solano Community College, Vanden High School, and the wonderful current venue at Golden West Middle School. Throughout the years, the performance home has been the Downtown Theatre in Fairfield, where Solano Winds is a Resident Company.
At the close of the tenth season for Solano Winds, the ensemble performed their first commissioned work – “Esprit de Voltaire” by Dale McGowan. Since then, various members of the ensemble have lent their own compositions to the band, and the result has been several world premieres of new works. At the close of Season 25, our newest commissioned work will be unveiled.
The organization has enjoyed several milestones with just two Music Directors over twenty five seasons. Briggs led the group for thirteen seasons. Upon his passing in 2008, Bill Doherty moved from the trumpet section to the podium, and is now enjoying his twelfth season conducting the ensemble. In 2013, Solano Winds was honored to perform by invitation at the Association of Concert Bands National Convention. Last season, the organization grew by developing a number of small ensembles – a brass quintet, a woodwind quintet, a flute choir, and more.
This season, Solano Winds celebrates its heritage by recalling some of it successes from over the years, and looks forward by starting some new adventures. Our member musicians and our guest artists alike are thrilled to present an exceptional Season 25!