Founded in 1898, the Wartburg College Concert Bands program is comprised of two ensembles —the Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band. Placement in the groups is determined by a yearly audition. Both groups represent students of all class standings and nearly all academic majors. The bands present joint and individual concerts throughout the year. Many of its 150 members are also involved in other music groups on campus, ranging from choirs to jazz bands, from campus ministry to student government.
The Symphonic Band celebrates its 20th anniversary during the 2017-18 academic year. The ensemble performs several on-campus concerts throughout the year in addition to performances around the community and represents students of all class standings and academic majors on campus. Prominent composers Samuel Hazo, Cory McBride, and Jared Barnes have collaborated with the Symphonic Band while guest conductors Dr. Bruce Ammann and Dr. Bruce Gleason along with soloists Susan Rider (trumpet) and Dominique Cawley (flute) have performed with the ensemble in recent years.