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.

Jeff de Seriere

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

Name Hometown Major at Wartburg College
Hanna Langley Cedar Rapids Music Therapy
Katarina Meadowcroft Adel Music
Camilla Wright Grinnell English, Secondary Education
Megan Bywater Iowa City Music Therapy
Karly Daniels-Carlson Minneapolis, Minn. Music Ed. (K-12)/Music Therapy
Jenna Smuszkiewicz Belvidere, Ill. Neuroscience
Haley Hansen Clarence Music Education (K-12)
Katie Rinnman Bloomington, Minn. Music Ed. (K-12)/Music Therapy
Jaylyn Gibbs New Hartford Music Education (K-12)
Claudia Hall Graettinger Sociology
Gretchen Guetzlaff Clear Lake Biology, Public Health
Rylie Bainbridge Cherokee Music Education (K-12)
Bass Clarinet    
Abby LaVelle Steamboat Rock Art (Studio), Graphic Design
Alto Saxophone    
Dylan Feuling Des Moines Music Ed. (K-12)/Music Therapy
Abby Gaul Guttenberg Music Education (K-12)
Audra Schultz North Liberty Accounting, Business Administration
Tenor Saxophone    
Gavin Foust-Wollenberg Cascade Mathematics, Secondary Education
Baritone Saxophone    
Kylea Neuendorf La Porte City Accounting
Carter Johanningmeier Charles City Accounting, Business Administration
Josie Hemesath Waterloo Music Therapy
Brenna Hamborg Bondurant Music Education (K-12)
Emily Reedy Minooka, Ill. Music Ed. (K-12)/Music Therapy
Morgan Pruitt Clarinda Music
Molly Buchheim Sun Prairie, Wis. Music Education (K-12)
Rachel Green DeWitt Journalism & Communication
Sarah Whipple Lakeville, Minn. Music Therapy
Abby Gerth Ankeny Music
Sam Lockhart Denver Graphic Design
Margaret Van Speybroeck Davenport Business Administration
Nicholas Tremel Newton Biology
Kaley Koran Channahon, Ill. Music Therapy
Alexavier Morgan Madrid Economics, Political Science
Rosie Carter Longmont, Colo. Biology
David Guetzlaff Clear Lake Computer Science, Mathematics
Brody Condon DeWitt Music Education (K-12)
Matt Reis Davenport Music Education (K-12)
Samantha Anderson Dundee Music Ed. (K-12)/Music Therapy
Chandler Njus Fredericksburg Elementary Education
Zackary Anderson Marion Physics, Secondary Education
Jordan Rhine Des Moines Music Therapy
Vaalik Wachmann Waverly Environmental Science & Studies
Ian Wetzler Martensdale Neuroscience

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.

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 (1995-2022)

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.


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