Wind Symphony
Welcome to CU bands!

Welcome to bands at the University of Colorado College of Music! The CU band program provides various performance opportunities for students, whatever their level or major field of study. 


Wind Symphony

The Wind Symphony comprises the College of Music's most outstanding wind, brass and percussion students. Founded in 1978, the group is committed to performing the finest wind repertoire, regardless of era or ensemble size—ranging from recently performed works by Ida Gotkovsky and the college's own Carter Pann to additional diverse works by Carlos Simon, Omar Thomas, Joan Tower and Xi Wang. The Wind Symphony also values the importance of collaboration by working with various faculty and guest artists. Performances on campus and across Colorado, as well as at conferences and abroad, have earned the ensemble international acclaim.

Symphonic Band

Symphonic Band musicians are selected by audition from the finest performers on campus. Although most members are music majors, students studying in other fields often qualify for this ensemble. Since its formation over 50 years ago, the Symphonic Band has performed at major national conventions, including the Music Educators National Conference and the College Band Directors National Association. Concerts presented both in Colorado and out of state have won the acclaim of band directors and composers for the interpretive performance of outstanding works for the symphonic band medium.

Concert + Campus Bands

CU Boulder's Concert Band and Campus Band comprise both music majors and non-music majors. Exploring traditional and contemporary works for band, the ensembles are known for their consistently high level of performance. Participating musicians are offered the opportunity to share in the excitement of the creative process as they broaden their musical experiences. These bands maintain an active schedule.

marching bandGolden Buffalo Marching Band

The Golden Buffalo Marching Band is recognized as one of the premier college marching bands in the United States. Comprising approximately 250 student musicians from across the country, the band remains an integral and exciting part of the tradition and spirit at the University of Colorado Boulder. The band employs an extremely versatile marching style and consistently performs the latest in contemporary show design. The ensemble has appeared on national television many times and has performed in numerous NFL football games. The Golden Buffalo Marching Band has further appeared at the Bowl, Alamo Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Aloha Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Blockbuster Bowl and Orange Bowl. While there is currently no audition requirement for the marching band wind sections, the drumline, colorguard and feature twirlers are selected by audition only. More information.

Buff Basketball Band

The Buff Basketball Band—an auditioned ensemble—is an organization of 95-100 musicians who perform for at-home basketball games in the Coors Event Center and travel to the PAC 12 Basketball Tournaments, NIT Tournaments and NCAA Tournaments. Additionally, to become a wind member of this group, you must be a current Golden Buffalo Marching Band member. Drumset and electric bass are open to all students on campus. Auditions are held every October.


Donald J. McKinney
Director of Bands

Matthew Dockendorf
Associate Director of Bands
Director, Golden Buffalo Marching Band

Branden Steinmetz
Assistant Marching Band Director

Francisco Borja-Prieto
Masters Conducting Student

Zach Cheever
Doctoral Conducting Student

Melinda Mason
Masters Conducting Student

Derek Stoughton
Doctoral Conducting Student

The Bands and Orchestras also include an Instructor in Percussion, Mike Tetreault, who coaches during student ensemble rehearsals. Few collegiate music programs have an educator of his expertise coaching large ensembles.