Western Wind Quintet

Martha Councell-Vargas, FluteWestern Wind Quintet photograph
Jeremiah Quarles, Oboe
Ellen Breakfield-Glick, Clarinet
Lin Baird, Horn
Wendy Rose, Bassoon

The Western Wind Quintet originated in 1966 at Western Michigan University as a resident faculty ensemble in the School of Music. In addition to on-campus concerts, the quintet is active throughout the Midwest presenting frequent recitals and clinics. They have performed at Carnegie Hall, where the New York press praised the quintet's commitment to the music and their innovative programming. They have also accepted invitations to perform at the Music Educators National Conference, College Music Society Annual Conference, Midwestern Music Conference, National Flute Association Convention, International Horn Symposium and International Double Reed Society Conference. University appearances have included concerts at Ball State University, Ohio State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Central Michigan University, Bowling Green State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the University of Texas-Austin, Texas Christian University, the University of North Texas and the University of Oklahoma.

The members of the quintet are active as soloists, chamber musicians and orchestral musicians, having held positions in chamber ensembles and orchestras throughout the United States and Canada. Individual performances have taken them around the world, with concerts in Spain, Italy, Austria, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, China, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Brazil. The collective performance experience of the individual members creates a chamber ensemble of precision, blend and consummate musicianship.

The group is noted for its innovative programming, mixing classics of the repertoire with compositions that expand the boundaries of traditional chamber music. Past programs include "Tropical Winds," a recital of music by Latin American composers, "An American (Quintet) in Paris," featuring French masterpieces for wind quintet and their Carnegie Hall program, "Music of the Americas." The quintet is also committed to training young musicians, and has done numerous residencies throughout the country, working with students ranging from middle school to university graduate level. Whether performing a formal recital or an educational school concert, the enthusiasm and skill demonstrated by the Western Wind Quintet is undeniable.

Music samples

Mvt. I - from the morning sun (MP3)
from Shimmers of Light by Richard Adams

Mvt. II - off a rushing stream (MP3)
from Shimmers of Light by Richard Adams

Mvt. III - beneath the water's surface (MP3)
from Shimmers of Light by Richard Adams

Mvt. IV - through the rustling leaves(MP3)
from Shimmers of Light by Richard Adams

Mvt. V - reflected in the rain (MP3)
from Shimmers of Light by Richard Adams

Alborada y Son (MP3)
from Aires Tropicales by Paquito D'Rivera

Afro (MP3)
from Aires Tropicales by Paquito D'Rivera

Primary contact

Martha Councell-Vargas