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The Richmond Symphonic Winds


The mission of the Richmond Symphonic Winds is to provide the best symphonic band music for the Richmond, Virginia area. Formed in 1994, the organization is comprised of professional musicians, orchestral performers, music teachers, university professors, and other dedicated band musicians from all walks of life.


Conducted by Mrs. Iris Schwartz, this approximately forty piece organization has performed music by Leroy Anderson, Robert Russell Bennett, Vittorio Giannini, Percy Grainger, Paul Hindemith, Gustav Holst, James Hosay, Alfred Reed, Ottorino Respighi, William Schumann, Claude T. Smith, John Philip Sousa, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Richard Wagner. The organization is also known for performances and premieres of many new pieces by Virginia composers including Steve Barton, Leigh Baxter, David Bobrowitz, Mark Camphouse, Joseph Lyman, Richard Schwartz, and Emory Waters.


Iris Schwartz was born in St. Louis, Missouri and holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Webster University in St. Louis. A multi-talented musician, she has performed flute and piccolo for over forty-five years with many organizations including the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Philharmonic, Gateway Festival Orchestra, Webster University Orchestra, Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Virginia State University Concert Band and Orchestra, and Die Dorfmusikanten German Band. She has also performed soprano recorder with A Company of Waites Renaissance Wind Band, and percussion with the Appomattox Brass Band.

Iris conducted the Richard Bland College Community Wind Ensemble for over thirty-four years. She continues to conduct the ensemble with its new name, The Tri-Cities Community Band. She also serves as the Conductor of the Concert Ballet of Virginia Orchestra. Iris created the Instrumental Music Program in the Petersburg Catholic Schools and taught there for over thirty-six years, receiving Teacher of the Year Award from that institution. Iris was also Adjunct Professor of Flute at Virginia State University. Iris has been the conductor of The Richmond Symphonic Winds since its founding in 1994. Iris remains active as a performer on the flute and piccolo in the Richmond/Petersburg area. She continues to research the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and is co-author (with her husband, Richard) of Bands at the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904: Information, Photographs, and Database. (see Internet link below)


Mrs. Iris Schwartz, Conductor, can be contacted at

Dr. Richard Schwartz, Concertmaster and Principal Clarinet, at

Membership Information and Personnel Questions can be answered at


Last year we celebrated our Twenty-fifth Anniversary. We would like to thank Myrne McGonigle for her constant support of the organization and her future assistance in making this group the excellent ensemble that it is. We would also like to thank James Neiner of Swift Creek Middle School for his constant support and hospitality, and for his scheduling and use of the band facility.


I would like to thank everyone for making last year an exciting and rewarding one. With your dedication and support, our band has indeed become the finest in the State of Virginia. We all plan on continuing our rehearsals and concerts when this difficult time is over. We hope that everyone is safe this year, and remains so, and we wish everyone the very best. Stay safe.


Piccolo: Nancy Rubin

Flutes: Michelle Matts, Tim Arnette, Tom Smith, Robin Tillar

Oboe: Aronne Brooks

Bb Clarinets: Richard Schwartz, Marc Krauss, Harvey Schenkein, Geri Ports, Robin Simone, Jamie Cline, Gene Anderson

Bass Clarinet: Doug Hurt

Bassoons: Myrne McGonigle, Scott Schenkein

Alto Saxophones: Daniel Edwards, James Brooks

Tenor Saxophone: James Featherstone

Baritone Saxophone: Mike McPhillips

Trumpets/Cornets: Brenner Pugh, David Ganzert, Stan Goldman, Barbara Anderson, Bill Bjornes

Horns: Emory Waters, Amanda Burton, Beth Miksovic, Gretchen Georgas

Trombones: Alex Theofanos, Martha Purvis, Ross Walter

Euphonium: Mark La Fratta

Tubas: David Townsend, David Simmons

Percussion: Phillip Saunders, Lenny Ports

Tympani: Steve Raybould


The Cornet Compendium
The History and Development of the Nineteeth-Century Cornet

Vintage Cornets
A Website dedicated to photographs and restoration of historical cornets

Historic Brass Society
Internationally recognized scholarly society for brass enthusiasts

Bands at the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904: Information, Photographs, and Database
This 457 page book deals with the history of the bands at the St. Louis World's Fair. It includes information about the bands, historical entries for over twenty of them including Sousa, Innes, Conterno, Government Indian Band, and the Kilties, over fifty photographs (some very rare and in color) of the bands and conductors. The highlight of the work is a 315 page printed list (over 12,000 entries) of all compositions played by the bands at the event.

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