Mission and History


The IYWS serves as a honor organization for outstanding high school musicians throughout Central Indiana.  Highly talented members are selected through an audition process.  Students selected are challenged by the highest of quality wind band literature often performed by advanced high school and university ensembles.

As the educational outreach of the Indiana Wind Symphony students are exposed to quality teaching of sectionals from members of the IWS.  Players from the IWS are often featured soloists with the IYWS and the two ensembles present joint concerts in the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts.

Other guests include university band directors to work with the students and lead discussions on how to prepare for a career in music.  Studio faculty from various university schools of music are also present to assist with instruction.

The IYWS rehearses six to seven times before each of its four performances throughout the school year.

We are grateful to the Butler University School of Music for opening up its doors to us by providing rehearsal space each week.


The IYWS was founded in 1996 by three parents from North Central High School: Zoe Manning, Deb Nethercott, and Pat Jaeger.  The premier concert took place on May 5, 1996 with Prof. Jay Gephart, Director of Bands at Purdue University and former Director of Bands at North Central High School, conducting.

At its height the IYWS featured both a middle- and high-school level ensemble with over 105 students participating.  The current ensemble has more than tripled in size over the past year and continues to add more students.

We are pleased to have many distinguished conductors in the past.

  • 1996  Jay Gephart, Director of Bands, Purdue University
  • 1996-1997  Steve Rhoads, Music writer/educator
  • 1998-2009  Dr. Charles Conrad, Music Director, Indiana Wind Symphony
  • 2009-2010  Dr. James Spinazzola, Director of Bands, University of Indianapolis
  • 2010-2011  Darin Sorley, Music Director, Indianapolis Brass Choir
  • 2011-2012  Gary Doherty, Director of Bands, Arsenal Technical High School
  • 2012-2013  Dr. Sid Hearn, Director of Bands, Marian University
  • 2013-2014  Brent Hornaday, Associate Director of Bands, Marian University
  • 2014-Present  Jason Gardner, Graduate Assistant, Ball State University Bands