Wind Ensemble Blows Past Its Initial Crowdfunding Goal

Jonathan Caldwell and the Wind Ensemble
Jonathan Caldwell, director of the Virginia Tech Wind Ensemble, encourages the students during a rehearsal.

The moment the Virginia Tech Wind Ensemble tooted its own horn, the crowd went wild — with funding.

For the first time, the Wind Ensemble had been invited to perform at a national conference. When director Jonathan Caldwell announced the launch of a 45-day crowdfunding campaign during the ensemble’s first concert of the academic year on October 8, the audience responded enthusiastically.

“This will be the most prestigious performance ever given by a Virginia Tech concert ensemble,” Caldwell said. “But we need help getting there.”

The goal had been to raise $10,000 — toward a total budget of $20,000 — to support the performance. That initial goal was met within two days. To date, more than $12,500 has been raised, the highest amount in the short history of Jump, Virginia Tech’s new crowdfunding platform.

The Wind Ensemble has performed in many notable venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Virginia Music Educators Association Conference. But this will be its first performance at a national conference: the College Band Directors National Association Southern Division conference, to be held next February in Tampa, Florida.

“This is an unparalleled performance opportunity for the students in the Wind Ensemble,” said Caldwell, who is also a visiting assistant professor of music in the School of Performing Arts. “Performing at this conference is one of the highest honors any college band can receive.”

Caldwell notes that this invitation was made possible by the Wind Ensemble’s performance at Carnegie Hall last March. A recording of that concert was used in the conference application.

The College Band Directors National Association, the foremost professional organization for collegiate band directors, represents thousands of directors across the United States. Caldwell believes that the Wind Ensemble’s performance will be an invaluable recruiting tool, one that resonates with high school band directors and students — and may help influence talented musicians to choose Virginia Tech.

“This performance will be the Wind Ensemble’s next step onto the national stage,” Caldwell said. “By drawing on the resources of our amazing alumni, donors, and other supporters, we will help showcase to the nation all the wonderful music being made at Virginia Tech.”

The crowdfunding campaign will run until November 22.