The University of Akron Symphonic Band, under the direction of Dr. Galen S. Karriker, is the most select ensemble of wind and percussion students on The University of Akron campus. One of the Midwest’s premiere wind groups, the Symphonic Band most recently performed at the 2018 Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference in Columbus, Ohio.
The Symphonic Band performs the finest repertoire for wind band and has been active in commissioning and premiering new works. In December 2016 the UA Symphonic Band premiered Mark Camphouse's ILLUMINATIONS (On America The Beautiful) - composed and commissioned by a consortium of wind band conductors and alumni in honor of the legacy of Director of Bands, Emeritus, Robert D. Jorgensen. Additional premiere performances by the UA Symphonic Band include James Curnow's Hail the Champions (2016) - commissioned by Drs. Mark and Sandy Auburn in honor of Dr. William K. Guegold, Director of the School of Music, Emeritus at The University of Akron and UA School of Music Composition faculty member, Dr. Nikola Resanovic's With a Wave of the Hand (2016) - composed in honor of Robert D. Jorgensen. In 2012, under the direction of Robert D. Jorgensen, the UA Symphonic Band premiered David Gillingham's Nights in Tobago - commissioned by Drs. Mark and Sandy Auburn in honor of Distinguished Professor of Percussion at The University of Akron, Dr. Larry Snider.
The Symphonic Band has previously appeared under the direction of Director of Bands Emeritus, Robert D. Jorgensen, at numerous national, regional and state conventions, highlighted by performances at both the American Bandmasters Association National Convention in Baltimore Maryland, and the College Band Directors National Association Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Other major performances include numerous appearances at the Ohio Music Education Association Conference, the College Band Directors National Association Convention in East Lansing, Michigan, and in Kansas City, Missouri, and tours throughout Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
The Symphonic Band has performed with such noted composers, conductors, and artists as Samuel Adler, James Barnes, Harry Begian, Frank Bencriscutto, Kenneth Bloomquist, Lt. Col. Alan L. Bonner, Col. John Bourgeois, Mark Camphouse, Dave Catron, Ray Cramer, James Curnow, Elliot Del Borgo, Thomas Duffy, Robert E. Fleming, David Gillingham, Col. Jack Grogan, Joseph Herman, Leslie Hicken, James Keene, Mark Kelly, Earl Louder, W. Francis McBeth, Donald McGinnis, Stanley Michalski, John Paynter, Stephen Peterson, Alfred Reed, H. Owen Reed, William D. Revelli, Col. L. Bryan Shelbourne, William Silvester, Gary Smith, Richard Suddendorf, Robert Van Sice, Jay Wadenpfhal, Myron Welch, and John Zdechlik.
Auditions for the Symphonic Band are held each year during the first week of the fall semester. Further auditions are held in the spring semester only if openings should occur. The Symphonic Band rehearses three times a week, 1:15 – 3:10 p.m. Monday & Wednesday and 2:20 – 3:10 p.m. on Friday.