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The Waukesha Area Symphonic Band

About Us 

The Waukesha Area Symphonic Band began in the Fall of 1976 as the result of concerned musicians who recognized the need for an adult music organization in the community that was dedicated to the serious performance of outstanding music for winds and percussion.

The band rehearses one night per week, performs several concerts per season, and provides continuous opportunities for adult musicians to improve their instrumental music skills.

The band also performs in other communities throughout southeastern Wisconsin, and has appeared at the National Band Association Convention in Wisconsin Rapids, the Wisconsin Music Educators Conference in Madison, and the College Band Directors National Association's regional conference at the Weidner Center in Green Bay.

The Symphonic Band has recorded two compact discs, The Coming Glory of the Light: Wind Music of Waukesha Composers, and Celebration. 

Each year the band sponsors a Concerto Competition, which is open to all instrumentalists in high school. The winner is invited to perform their solo with band during the Spring Concert. 

Rick Kirby
Conductor Laureate & Composer in Residence of the Waukesha Area Symphonic Band

Rick Kirby was born in Boston, Massachusetts and was educated in the New England area.  After arriving in Wisconsin in 1974, he taught at several high schools and universities.  He retired from public school teaching in 2001 to pursue a full time career as a composer and arranger.   Before retirement, Mr. Kirby’s last public school teaching position was at Waukesha West High School.

Mr. Kirby has arranged or composed for many marching bands including groups from Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Arizona, and California.  He is presently the staff arranger for the award winning Sound of Sun Prairie Marching Band and the Wisconsin State Champion Waukesha West High School Marching Band.  Mr. Kirby has also been involved in many commissioning projects including writing compositions for concert bands, jazz ensembles, choirs, and other instrumental ensembles.  Several of his works are in publication. Mr. Kirby is also Director of the Carroll University Jazz Ensemble and Associate Conductor of the Youth Wind Orchestra of Wisconsin.

Rick Kirby is the Wisconsin Music Educators Association’s 2002 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.  This award is given to a music educator for lifelong meritorious service, excellence and dedication to music education in Wisconsin.  He is also the Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Band Director for 2007.


Waukesha Works for People is a program developed a number of years ago by the Board of Directors. It is, as they say, a win-win situation. A selected non-profit organization sells tickets for the concert and receives a large percentage of those sales, making it a fundraiser for them. The band fulfills their mission by extending themselves into the community AND we play to a full or near full house—the dream of every performer.

This year's Fall concert beneficiary will be Healing Hearts of Waukesha County. Healing Hearts provides grief support to children and their families experiencing loss of all kinds.

This year's Spring concert beneficiary will be Waukesha's Adaptive Community Approach Program or ACAP. ACAP serves adults with physical disabilities within Waukesha County.

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