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About Tallahassee Winds

Founded in 1997 by Dr. Bentley Shellahamer, the former Assistant Dean and Professor of Music Education at FSU, the Tallahassee Winds is a community symphonic band made up of advanced level woodwind, brass and percussion players of various ages and diverse backgrounds. From lawyers to educators and everything you can imagine, the musicians come together for a common purpose - their love of music.

Dr. Shellahamer saw a need within the Tallahassee community for professional and amateur adult musicians to have an opportunity to experience the combination of challenges and rewards associated with performing classical and light classical music within a large group.

The concert season begins in October and runs through April with four (4) formal concerts each season. All Tallahassee Winds concerts are FREE and open to the public.

Not only have the Winds performed for audiences in Tallahassee, the ensemble was invited and performed at the 1999 Florida Music Educators Association/Southern Division Convention, as well as the 2001 and 2007 Association of Concert Bands National Convention. The Tallahassee Winds also made their international debut during the summer of 2004, when they embarked on a 10-day concert tour of Australia with composer/conductor, Eric Whitacre. The tour highlighted several concert works of Mr. Whitacre and culminated with a performance at the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Upon Dr. Shellahamer’s retirement from the Tallahassee Winds in 2014, the ensemble has been fortunate to have Dr. Patrick Dunnigan, Director of Bands and Professor of Music at FSU and Dr. David Plack, Director of Athletic Bands at FSU, at the helm as conductors. Both bring an amazing amount of enthusiasm and energy to the group and constantly challenge members to build on the vast musical backgrounds and to grow as musicians. In addition, each semester an FSU College of Music Graduate Assistant is appointed to handle administrative details for the organization as well as provide the group with yet another outstanding conductor.

Having an ongoing connection with FSU allows the Winds to rehearse at the College of Music and perform its concerts in the magnificent Opperman Music Hall. Built in 1948, Opperman Music Hall earned acclaim as one of the best music facilities in the United States, and renovations done in 1991 further improved the natural acoustics of the hall.