Department of Music

Wind Symphony

There is no musical institution more imbedded in American history than a concert band. With its strong sense of community and participatory consensus, the Brown University Wind Symphony reflects the unique ethos of the college itself.

Students from very different concentrations—from Engineering to Egyptology—play, conduct, and compose new music for the band, making it one of the most diverse groups in the department.

MUSC 0620

Kevin Plouffe

Wind Symphony
250th Anniversary Wind Symphony Concert


Auditions take place at the start of the semester. An audition should include a 2-octave major scale of the student's choice and a 2-octave concert F chromatic scale. Students will also present 3-5 minutes of solo work that best highlight their technical and lyrical skills.


Students may register for MUSC0620/0621 to receive academic credit for participation in Wind Symphony. (Enrollment is not required otherwise.)



Woonsocket, Rhode Island native, Kevin Plouffe earned a Bachelor's Degree in Percussion Performance from the New England Conservatory in 1992 and a Master's Degree in Music Education with an emphasis in conducting from the University of Rhode Island in 1994.  Kevin served sixteen years as band director at Woonsocket High School, where his responsibilities included directing the marching band, concert band, jazz band, and percussion ensembles, as well as serving as the music department representative.  Kevin taught in the Killingly, Connecticut public schools for seven years. He was the band director and jazz band director at Killingly Intermediate School, where he taught band to 175-200 students yearly in grades 6-8. His middle school bands have consistently won awards at local music festivals. He was also the Killingly High School assistant marching band director and drum line instructor. Currently, he is the band director at North Smithfield High School. There he directors the award winning concert band and jazz ensemble.

Kevin Plouffe has been active at Brown University for the last 21 years teaching percussion through the applied music program, coaching the Brown University Wind Symphony Percussion Section, and conducting the Brown University Percussion Ensemble.  He also served as guest conductor of the Brown University Wind Symphony on numerous occasions before assuming the podium for the 2019-2020 academic year.

He is past president of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, a position he held for over ten years.  Kevin is the current vice president/treasurer. He founded the RI-PAS Percussion Ensemble adjudication festival, which has been running annually since 2001, attracting secondary level percussion ensembles and guest artists from throughout southern New England.  He is the founder of the Blackstone Valley High School Jazz Festival at the Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre.  His past experience includes, Band Director at Norwood High School, Director of Rhode Island Music Educators' Association Junior All-State Jazz Ensemble, Director of the Quabbin Valley Middle School Honor Band, Director of the Massachusett Central District Middle School Honor Band, and faculty member at the University of New Hampshire Summer Youth Music School. He has performed with numerous orchestras throughout New England; the RI and Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the Worcester Symphony Orchestra, New Bedford and Plymouth Symphony and Theatre by the Sea to name a few.  Kevin resides in Mapleville, RI with his wife, Diane who is the director of music, an accomplished string teacher and orchestra director, in Franklin, MA, as well as a free-lance violinist, and his two daughters.

Repertoire and Guest Artists

In addition to standard works by Holst, Mozart, and Hindemith, the Wind Symphony performs new pieces written for unique combinations of instruments. Concerts in recent years have featured a range of impressive guest artists, including trombonist Alexei Doohovskoy '98 (of the Rhode Island Philharmonic), jazz trumpeter Mike Metheny, pianist Randall Hodgkinson (of the New England Conservatory), saxophonist Michael Leonard, trumpeter Charles Schlueter (of the Boston Symphony Orchestra), violinist Charles Sherba, pianist Jan Jiracek, bassoonist William Buchman (of the Chicago Symphony), Klezmer virtuoso clarinetist Margot Leverett, saxophonist Sigur∂ur Flosason, The Charleston String Quartet, trombonist Ron Barron (of the Boston Symphony Orchestra), composer David Amram, composer Eric Ewazen (of the Julliard School), trombonist Sam Woodhead (of the US Army Band), conductor Fausto Moreira (of the Filarmónica de Covões, Portugal) and conductor Lt. Col. Philip Evans (Director of the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Engineers).

On Tour

The Wind Symphony has performed in concerts at Brown, Tufts University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College and McGill University in Montreal, as well as concerts in London and Paris.

2012 Wind Symphony Concert
2012 Wind Symphony Concert



  • Monday and Wednesday evenings, 6:00-7:20pm.
  • The percussion section rehearses on Wednesdays only from 5:00-7:20pm.  Percussionists rehearse as an ensemble from 5:00-5:50pm and with the Wind Symphony from 6:00-7:20pm each Wednesday. 
  • Meetings located in Fulton Rehearsal Hall



250th Anniversary Concert


Matthew McGarrell, conductor. The program featured the world premiere performance of Patrick Zimmerli's Brownian Motion.

Additional Music Making Opportunities

Students may choose to join one of the department's many performing groups
Students seeking to improve their playing or singing ability have the option of taking individual private lessons with about thirty professional musicians from the greater Boston-Providence area.