A b o u t t h e E n s e m b l e
Westchester Symphonic Winds, an adult community-based 60-piece wind and percussion ensemble, celebrates its 32nd season in 2019-2020. We strive to promote music in our area, instill pride in our nation and heritage, provide opportunities for personal expression and growth within our membership, and nurture the love of music by offering an exceptional musical experience for people of all ages.
The ensemble was founded by Rachel Eckhaus, Robert LaPorta, and the group’s first conductor, James D. Wayne, who conducted the band from 1988-2004. Dr. Luis Fernando Jimenez was conductor from 2005-2008. Curt Ebersole was invited to conduct the 20th Anniversary Gala Concert in 2008, and was subsequently invited to stay on permanently as Conductor and Music Director. Since 2008, guest conductors and clinicians have included Dr. Mallory Thompson, Dr. John Lynch, Dr. Tom McCauley, Dr. Shelley Axelson, Travis Cross, and Joseph Greco.
Over the years, we have given benefit concerts for many groups, including the Food Bank for Westchester, Student Assistance Services, Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, Irvington Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Rotary Club of Briarcliff Manor, Emergency Ecumenical Food Pantry, Family Services of Westchester, Yonkers Arts Education, and others.
The ensemble made its New York City debut at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in March of 2010, its national debut at the 2012 Association of Concert Bands National Convention, and will perform for the seventh time at Caramoor in July, 2020. The organization is an Ensemble-in-Residence at the historic Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, New York, and rehearses there on Monday evenings from September through June.
A b o u t t h e M u s i c D i r e c t o r
Curt Ebersole has served as the Conductor and Music Director (John P. Paynter Memorial Chair) of the Westchester Symphonic Winds since 2008, fostering its exponential growth over the past eleven years. He led the Westchester Symphonic Winds in their Lincoln Center debut in March 2010 at Avery Fisher Hall, and at convention and exchange performances in Chicago, Poughkeepsie, Stamford, and Syracuse, as well as six sold-out summer festival performances at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (Katonah, NY). He retired from Northern Valley Regional High School (Old Tappan, NJ) in 2013 after serving as Director of Instrumental Music for 31 years. His ensembles were honored with consistent critical accolades, and his instrumental Prism Concerts became a local rite of spring. He now serves on the faculty at The Masters School, in Dobbs Ferry, New York.
He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music in Conducting degree from Northwestern University, where he studied conducting with John P. Paynter and clarinet with Larry Combs, and a Master of Fine Arts in Clarinet Performance from SUNY-Purchase, where he studied with Ben Armato.
Mr. Ebersole has served as a guest conductor and clinician for numerous county, regional, all-state, and adult community ensembles across the nation, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Symphony Space, University of Georgia, Syracuse University, Hartwick College, Georgia State University, with the US Army Field Band, and in performances in Las Vegas, South Korea, and Australia. He is the founding coordinator of the Music Educators of Bergen County Wind Conducting Symposium. He has served as a clinician at the Midwest Clinic, Temple University Wind Conducting and Teaching Workshops, Florida Music Educators Association Convention, and presented his TED Talk “Framing Failure” at TEDxOneonta in 2017. He is a practitioner of both Positive Psychology and the Harkness Method. His performance achievements include solo and ensemble performances as both a clarinetist and basset hornist, including principal clarinet of this ensemble in 1989-1990.
He was selected as the Northern Valley District Teacher of the Year in 1994 and the Bergen County Teacher of the Year in 1995. The Mayor and Council of Old Tappan honored him for twenty years of service to the community in 2002. The New Jersey Music Educators Association chose him as the recipient of the 2003 Master Music Teacher Award, and he received a Governor’s Award in Arts Education later that year. In 2009 he was the Northern Valley-Old Tappan recipient of the New Jersey Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award. Yale University honored him with their Distinguished Music Educator Award in 2011. His professional memberships include NAfME, CBDNA, and Pi Kappa Lambda.
Mr. Ebersole is a native of Lancaster County, PA, and a current resident of White Plains, NY. In addition to his busy musical life, he enjoys riding America’s fastest and tallest roller coasters.