The Origins of Capitol Symphonic Winds

The Capitol Symphonic Winds was organized in January of 1992 to provide an outlet for University of Hartford musicians who were not music majors to perform with community musicians in a high quality wind ensemble. The Capitol Symphonic Winds ensemble also provided opportunities for Hartt students to get experience as band managers and student conductors. Since its founding in 1992, the ensemble has performed two concerts a year at the University of Hartford.

In December of 1992, the band participated in the First Night festivities in downtown Hartford. Since that time the band has played numerous outreach concerts at public and private high and middle schools in Connecticut. In 1996 it performed with the Quantico Marine Band. In 2004 it performed at the Connecticut Music Educators Conference. It has also premiered several new works.

The first conductor was Neal Yancey Smith, who was a graduate student at the Hartt School at the time. In the 1994-95 season, William Eriksen directed. Gary Partridge was the conductor from 1995 untiul 2018. Dr. Dan D'Addio conducted from 2018 until the spring of 2023. The May 2020 and December 2020 concerts and rehearsals were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Performances resumed starting with an outdoor Covid compliant concert at the Simsbury shell in May 2021 and then back on the Hartt campus since. In the Fall of 2023, the conducting role was shared between co-directors James Jackson, III and Director of Bands at the Hartt School Glen Adsit. We lost Glen shortly after our December 2023 concert. James Jackson, III continues as director.

The members of the band have come from all walks of life including students, music and non-music educators, physicians, lawyers, judges, computer programmers, nurses, bookkeepers, financial planners, au pairs, carpenters, engineers, and entrepreneurs.

*This website information is independently produced by Guy Simonian, a volunteer community member musician of the Capitol Winds Ensemble. The University of Hartford and Hartt School are not responsible for this content.