Music Performance: Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Major

BW's performance major features extensive performance opportunities, small class sizes and mentoring by renowned Conservatory faculty.  

Music Performance: Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion

Conservatory of Music

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Develop the technical, artistic, entrepreneurial and analytical skills that can help you succeed as an instrumentalist preparing for a rewarding career in music.

Baldwin Wallace’s woodwind, brass or percussion major is a rigorous program that combines comprehensive coursework with private lessons and extensive performance experiences.

It provides outstanding preparation for graduate studies and career opportunities.Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are inherent to the program. BW’s faculty-student ratio is 7:1 for the Conservatory of Music.

Baldwin Wallace faculty are established professionals with real-world experience, impressive credentials and networking connections. They’re published composers, authors, musicians and researchers.

Among BW woodwind, brass and percussion faculty are members of the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Akron and Canton Symphony Orchestras, and other professionals who have performed internationally with prestigious ensembles.

Also impressive to your studies is BW's 20-minute proximity to Cleveland – home of nationally ranked music, theatre and arts organizations and facilities.

  • Trumpet lesson

    Small classes, personalized attention and faculty mentoring are a key part of Baldwin Wallace's performance program. BW's faculty-student ratio is 7:1 for the Conservatory of Music.

  • photo of Steinway piano

    BW’s Conservatory of Music is honored to be designated as an All-Steinway School, an elite classification that speaks to the quality of the student experience.

  • Photo of Boesel Musical Arts Center

    Striking Boesel Musical Arts Center is a four-building complex that houses 50 soundproofed practice rooms, instructional space, practice studios and impressive rehearsal halls that can accommodate the latest technologies for teaching and performance.

  • Photo of a performance

    BW’s undergraduate-only Conservatory provides students with valuable opportunities to perform, compose, conduct, teach and manage. Alumni can be found at top graduate schools and employed with renowned organizations.

  • Photo of a performance at Ovation

    Innovation, excellence and outstanding hands-on learning and performance opportunities make Baldwin Wallace's Conservatory of Music a proven choice for students seeking professional preparation. 

  • BW faculty who are members of the Cleveland Orchestra

    A partnership with members of the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra brings some of the nation's leading orchestral musicians to campus to give master classes on the orchestral repertoire for string performance students. Pictured here are BW faculty who are members of the Cleveland Orchestra.


  • Music educator
  • Chamber musician
  • Orchestral musician
  • Conductor
  • Music business executive
  • Arts administrator
  • Private teacher
  • Concert soloist
  • Church or theatre musician or director


The Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music is one of just 16 conservatories worldwide that has achieved classification as an All-Steinway School. The 88 Steinway pianos in the Conservatory elevate the student learning experience by having lessons and performance opportunities on the same quality instruments that are the standard in concert halls worldwide.


Striking Boesel Musical Arts Center is a picturesque four-building complex that houses BW's Conservatory of Music. It's a seamless blend of historic architecture and modern design. The facility houses 50 soundproofed practice rooms, instructional space, practice studios and impressive rehearsal halls that can accommodate the latest technologies for teaching and performance.


Innovation, excellence and outstanding hands-on learning and performance opportunities make Baldwin Wallace's Conservatory of Music a proven choice for students nationwide. The undergraduate-only Conservatory provides an exceptional learning environment for students to take lead roles in performing, conducting, managing and teaching. Alumni can be found at top graduate schools and working with the best orchestras, operas and theatres. Other alumni are employed in rewarding positions in teaching, arts management and music therapy.


Rigorous coursework coupled with intensive and extensive practical experiences provide comprehensive learning.

You’ll study music theory, history and literature, form and analysis, tonal harmony, Solfège and more. You’ll learn to apply critical thinking, creativity and technical skills to your work.

Outside the classroom, you’ll take private lessons and participate in rehearsals and performances with a major ensemble, as well as other performance activities.

The culmination of your studies is a full-length recital program held during your senior year.

BW’s instrumental performance program offers an outstanding foundation for graduate school. It can be studied as a single major or companion field of study for a double major. 

The musical performance: woodwinds, brass, percussion major prepares students to:

  • Perform repertoire appropriate to class standing with technical and interpretive proficiency
Course Catalog

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Student success is a top priority. Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are at the core of BW's Conservatory of Music programs.

Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. As an instrumental performance major, you’ll have numerous opportunities to demonstrate your musicianship:

  • Regular studio classes
  • Departmental recitals
  • Conservatory convocations
  • Guest master classes
  • BW concerts
  • BW opera and music theatre pit ensembles
  • Semester juries
  • Required degree recitals
  • Annual concerto competition

With more than 325 events a year, Baldwin Wallace's Conservatory of Music offers an impressive array of performance opportunities.

You can get involved with the Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Brass Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo and Percussion Ensemble, among others.

At the faculty level, BW woodwind, brass and percussion musicians perform regularly as members of the Africa->West trio (in-residence at BW) and Greg Banaszak Quintet, in addition to participating in solo, chamber music and small ensemble recitals.


Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music has outstanding campus performance traditions and collaborations with regional and national organizations. A few examples include:

  • Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival
    The three-day campus event is the oldest collegiate Bach Festival in the country. It features lectures, BW performance groups, faculty members and renowned professional soloists and musicians. Baldwin Wallace students consider the unusual opportunity of participating, as colleagues, with world-class professionals a high point in their performing experience. The festival is evolving to include year-round events, such as Bach Haus, that explore Bach's influence on a broad spectrum of music.
  • FOCUS Festival of Contemporary Music
    The biennial festival features the music of a contemporary composer who visits Baldwin Wallace for a week-long residency. At the conclusion of the week's rehearsals and symposia, the composer's music is performed in a series of concerts, including large ensembles and chamber groups.


At Baldwin Wallace, student learning experiences are enhanced by exceptional resources that include:

  • Riemenschneider Bach Institute
    The institute houses rare items related to J.S. Bach and his circle, as well as historical reference materials, scores and a collection of classic recordings. It has one of the nation's most impressive holdings of Baroque manuscripts and first editions. It attracts scholars from around the world.
  • Ferne Patterson Jones Memorial Music Library
    A valuable campus resource, the library offers 18,000 scores, 7,000 books, and more than 10,000 sound and video recordings. Online resources to which the library subscribes include over one million tracks of streaming audio and video. Help with research is available by appointment, on a walk-in basis or through email.


At Baldwin Wallace, you'll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

Woodwind, brass and percussion performance graduates can be found working for leading orchestras and other regional performing organizations. They also have pursued master's and doctoral degrees at some of the most prestigious schools, including University of Michigan, Manhattan School of Music, Carnegie Mellon University, Boston Conservatory, The Juilliard School of Music, Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, Indiana University, University of London and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. 

Kevin JohnsonKevin Johnson '12 is currently touring internationally with Cirque du Soleil. He has published two books, “The Beatles Session Parts” and “Trumpet Aerobics,” with Hal Leonard and has performed with the Columbus, Owensboro and Carmel Symphony Orchestras. He holds a Master of Music in jazz performance from Indiana University.

Kristen KlehrKristen Klehr '10 holds an M.A. in arts administration from Florida State. At BW, she founded PRISM, an annual student-produced multi-arts performance. An active percussionist, she works with music festivals across the nation and non-profit arts organizations in Los Angeles as a concert producer and arts consultant.

James WymanJames Wyman '06 is principal timpanist in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has held principal timpani positions with the Erie Philharmonic, the Reading Symphony and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. At BW, he focused heavily on solo, chamber and non-western music and was part of a bata drumming trio. 




Josh Ryan
Chair, Woodwinds, Brass & Percussion Department
Professor of Percussion
M.M., Peabody Conservatory of Music

Brendan Caldwell
Director of Wind Ensembles
Associate Professor of Conducting
D.M.A., University of Minnesota

Daniel McKelway
Professor of Clarinet
B.M., The New England Conservatory

Gabriel Piqué
Assistant Professor of Saxaphone and Jazz Studies
M.M., Eastman School of Music


Marisa Esposito
Professor of Bassoon
M.M., Artist Diploma, Cleveland Institute of Music

Sean Gabriel
Lecturer in Flute
M.M., The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Ken Heinlein
Lecturer in Trombone and Euphonium
M.M., Cleveland Institute of Music

Ryan Korb
Lecturer in Percussion
B.M., Lawrence University

Jesse McCormick
Lecturer in Horn
B.A., The Julliard School

George Pope
Lecturer in Flute
M.M., Northwestern University

Jeffrey Rathbun
Lecturer in Oboe
M.M., Cleveland Institute of Music

Richard Stout
Lecturer in Trombone and Euphonium
B.M., Curtis Institute of Music

Jack Sutte
Lecturer in Trumpet
M.M., The Juilliard School