The El Paso Winds, formerly El Paso Wind Symphony is a concert band that was organized by Dr. Ron Hufstader and a small group of El Paso area band directors in the spring of 1995. Today, the band consists of greater El Paso residents, most of whom are band directors in public and private schools.
The mission of the group is:
· to provide a role model for middle school, high school, and college band programs;
· to provide educational opportunities for all music students;
· to present concerts of quality wind literature to the public on a professional level.
The El Paso Winds consists of approximately 45 players. This includes woodwind, brass, and percussion - the normal instrumentation for a concert band or wind ensemble. An 8-12 member Board of Directors is diligently working to find funding for the organization and to offer guidance for the group. This board is comprised of volunteers from the business and education fields who are donating their time and effort to help ensure the success of the Wind Symphony.
The El Paso Winds' regular season consists of 5 concerts including a Holiday concert in December. The TMEA Region XXII All State Players (high school musicians) are always invited to perform with the Wind Symphony at one concert. Another concert is set aside to feature the winner of the Concerto Competition where a high school soloist is accompanied by the Winds. In recent years, the El Paso Winds has also shared the stage with the winners of the school band with the most attendees at concerts contest. In the past, the El Paso Winds has performed for a crowd of ten to twenty thousand at the Music Under the Stars Fourth of July Concert.
In addition to the concert presentations, the EP Winds hosts an All-Region clinic for middle school and high school band students and plans are in place to bring back the summer band camp. El Paso Winds members serve as clinicians for both these events. It is through activities such as these that the El Paso Winds is realizing the goals of the organization.
These activities are all made possible through the support and sponsorship of small and large companies and corporation from the El Paso area.
Andrew Hunter, D.M.A
Dr. Andrew Hunter is the Director of Bands at The University of Texas at El Paso. In his duties at UTEP, he conducts the UTEP Wind Symphony and teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting. He is also the Artistic Director and Conductor of the El Paso Winds. He previously served as Associate Director of Bands at Director of Athletic Bands at UTEP from 2018-2022. Prior to his appointment at UTEP, he served on the faculties of the University of Southern Mississippi, where he received the Thomas V. Fraschillo Award for Outstanding Musicianship among faculty, Louisiana College, where he was named Professor of the Year in 2012, and public schools in Louisiana and Georgia. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi, where his doctoral dissertation focused on the wind band and chamber winds compositions of Pulitzer Prize-winning composers. He also holds the Master of Music degree from Northwestern State University, and the Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Tennessee.
Dr. Hunter is highly-regarded as a clinician, adjudicator, and lecturer, and has served in these roles in both nationally and internationally. His ensembles have performed across the country, most notably in Carnegie Hall in February 2018. He has commissioned numerous new works for wind band by notable composers including: Andrew Boss, Mark Camphouse, Juan Pablo Contreras, John Mackey, Gabriel Musella, Wayne Oquin, Jake Runestad, and Alex Shapiro among others. He holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, the Texas Music Educators Association, and the Texas Bandmasters Association, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity.
Andrew lives in El Paso, Texas with his wife, Victoria Price Hunter, and their four children: Allie, Anna Grace, Mercy, and Stephen.
Ron "Doc" Hufstader
Founding Conductor & Artistic Director
In 1995, Dr. Hufstader established the El Paso Wind Symphony, a professional concert band composed of music teachers and business people from the El Paso area. This group now has a subscription season of five concerts. In 2006, under his direction, the ensemble was invited to perform for the Texas Bandmasters Association Band Symposium and again in 2016. The El Paso Wind Symphony changed its name to El Paso Winds in 2017.