The Rutgers Wind Ensemble, founded during the early 1960s, has established itself as one of the premier wind-bands in the nation. The ensemble performs both masterworks of the wind repertoire and new works, including pieces composed expressly for the group. The ensemble has performed with a variety of guest conductors, including H. Robert Reynolds, James Keane, Jerry Junkin, Mallory Thompson, Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Dennis Fisher, Frank Battisti, Thomas Leslie, Harry Begian, Kenneth G. Bloomquist, James Croft, James Curnow, David Holsinger and Stephen Pratt.
The ensemble has performed at professional conferences including the National CBDNA Conference in 2005 and the Eastern Division Conference in 2016. Numerous recordings of the ensemble are available on the Mark Custom label with several recordings having earned Grammy® entry listings. Their recording of “Dance Rhythms” received three Grammy® entry listings. The Ensemble is currently under the direction of Dr. Kraig Allen Williams.
Director: Dr. Kraig Alan Williams
Dr. Kraig Alan Williams is the conductor of the Grammy-nominated Rutgers Wind Ensemble, Associate Professor, and Director of the Wind Studies Program at Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Williams has appeared as a guest conductor, clinician and lecturer in more than 18 states, including as conductor of the Delaware All-State Wind Ensemble and guest conductor of the Dallas Wind Symphony and The United States Air Force Band. He has led highly acclaimed concerts before the College Band Director's National Association Southern Regional Conference (2016, 2010, 2006), the Tennessee All-West Concert Band Festival (2005), the Mid-South Low Brass Conference (2007) and the Mid-South Horn Conference (2009). His wind ensembles have been featured in several Mid-South Imagine Contemporary Music Festivals, featuring the works of noted composers.
Previously, Williams served as director of bands at University of Memphis and California State University, Los Angeles; conductor of the Duke University Wind Symphony and director of the Duke in Vienna program; assistant conductor of Southern California Inland Empire Symphony and Los Angeles Solo Repertoire Orchestra in Burbank; and music director of the Lake Elsinore Civic Light Opera. He has conducted performances in Graz, Budapest, Malta, Marktoberdorf, and Prague, and performed at Carnegie Hall, conducted live radio broadcasts on NPR, and recorded for Mark Records and ADK in Prague, Czech Republic.
Williams received his doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Jerry F. Junkin. He received a master of music degree in performance from California State University, Northridge. Williams is a member of CBDNA, TMEA, and is a sponsor and honorary member of the Memphis chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.
Williams joined the conducting faculty at the Brevard Music Center and Festival in 2001 and was named Director of Band Activities and Chamber Winds in 2008.