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 Wind Ensemble tours each spring and schedules an international tour every third year during Wartburg’s one-month May Term. In the spring of 2003, the Wind ensemble performed at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. The group toured Europe in ’97, ’01, ’04, and ’10 and Japan in May 2007 and 2013.

The first mention of a Wartburg Band comes in 1898, but it disappeared from all college records immediately after its founding and didn’t reappear again until 1914. The Great Depression forced the abandonment of the band program in 1931, but it was revived in 1937 until war year 1942 when the campus didn’t have enough qualified musicians. Following the war, however, the band program was resumed, and it has flourished since. In the fall of 1997 the Wartburg College Concert Band split into a two-band program. The resulting ensembles, the Symphonic Band and the Wind Ensemble, have retained the traditions and the same high standard of excellence. For these reasons the groups remain united under the title of the Wartburg College Concert Bands.

The Lord Bless You and Keep You serves as a farewell blessing to end concerts. It is performed immediately after Nearer My God to Thee, which signifies unity and love between each other and God.


Band Bonding: At the beginning of each year the WCCBs join together for a weekend of music, fun, and fellowship. It serves as a get-to-know-you experience as well as a time to get a jump on the musical aspects.

Family: The Wartburg College Concert Bands strive to treat each performer as a member of a family. Although the members come from a variety of places and backgrounds this bond of family and love is something important to the ensemble.

Singing: The WCCBs believe that although they are an instrumental ensemble, they can sing also! There are several songs near and dear to the program and serve in specific capacities. Table Prayer: This song is sung before every meal that the WCCBs share together. This includes band bonding, run-out weekends, and tours. Wartburg Loyalty: This song is the official closer to every meal and gathering that the group holds. Doxology: This traditional hymn is sacred to the group. It serves as a prayer before every concert the WCCBs give.

Director History: Ernst Heist (1935-46), Edfield Odegard (1946-52), Ernest Hagen (1952-58), Dr. Robert E. Lee (1958-95), Dr. Craig Hancock (1995-present)


The Wartburg Wind Ensemble tours the U.S. every spring and abroad every three years.


2021-22 MEMBERS

Marley Kiewiet, Dike
Megan Bywater, Iowa City
Camilla Wright, Grinnell
Katarina Meadowcroft, Adel

Oboe/English Horn
Jenna Smuszkiewicz, Belvidere, Ill.

Katie Doyle, Farley
Leah Morrison, Mason City
Jen Diemer, Sycamore, Ill.
Katie Rinnman, Bloomington, Minn.
Hana Koenigsfeld, Charles City
Gretchen Guetzlaff, Clear Lake
Alexis Green, Cedar Rapids
Vivian Browne, Davenport
Jaylyn Gibbs, New Hartford
Rylie Bainbridge, Cherokee

Bass Clarinet
Sabrina Lalinde Fischer, Denver, Colo.

Alto Sax
Audra Schultz, North Liberty
Dylan Feuling, Des Moines

Tenor Sax
Lilly Anderson, Hudson, Wis.
Gavin Foust-Wollenberg, Cascade

Bari Sax
Kylea Neuendorf, La Porte City

French Horn
Ridley Mullenbach, Beaver Dam, Wis.
Rachel Green, DeWitt
Sam Lockhart, Denver
Sarah Whipple, Lakeville, Minn.
Abigail Gerth, Ankeny

Carter Johanningmeier, Charles City
Brenna Hamborg, Bondurant
Jack McInnis, Le Mars
Josie Hemesath, Waterloo
Cassie Benge, West Des Moines
Emily Reedy, Minooka, Ill.
Molly Buchheim, Sun Prairie, Wis.
Morgan Pruitt, Clarinda

Spencer Dodgen, Story City
Nicholas Tremel, Newton
Rosie Carter, Longmont, Colo.
Kaley Koran, Channahon, Ill.

Bass Trombone
Jared Knapp, Humboldt

David Guetzlaff, Clear Lake

Danielle Peterson, Watertown, Minn.
Matthew Reis, Davenport

String Bass
Raeleigh Tripp, DeWitt

Percussion (listed alphabetically)
Zackary Anderson, Marion
Chandler Njus, Fredericksburg
Jordan Rhine, Des Moines
Malena Rumelhart, Guthrie Center
Asher Schneider, North English
Aubrey Vitense, Tipton
Vaalik Wachmann, Waverly


Craig A. Hancock

Professor of Music