The Brooklyn Wind Symphony is a select, all-volunteer ensemble dedicated to high-quality music making. We promote lifelong participation in music by providing a diverse yet like-minded group of advanced instrumentalists the opportunity to play the most esteemed repertoire for symphonic wind ensembles. We increase public awareness of symphonic wind ensembles and the literature written for them through commissioning new works by talented composers and by acting as an arts advocate in major venues in New York City and beyond.
Our members come from all professions and walks of life; some of our seats are filled by alumni of the Grand Street Campus High Schools, from which the band took its original name. BKWS fills a huge void for symphonic wind ensembles in the New York City area. Along with our emphasis on musicianship, we take pride in being a social, friendly group that encourages community values and gives our participants the opportunity to play together at the highest level.
BKWS’s efforts continue to surprise and delight both musicians and audiences, while keeping classical music alive and well within the Brooklyn community and beyond. In addition to presenting our regular series at Grand Street High School, we have participated in Columbia University’s Festival of Winds, DCINY’s Lincoln Center Concert Series, Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College and the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL.
Jeff W. Ball
Artistic Director & Conductor
Jeff W. Ball is the Founder, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Brooklyn Wind Symphony, established in 2008 as the Grand Street Community Band. From its original thirty members, the organization has grown into the sixty-five-piece Brooklyn Wind Symphony and allowed for the formation of two additional ensembles, the eighty-piece Grand Street Community Band and the seventy-piece Kings County Concert Band. The Brooklyn Wind Symphony is the first ever New York City based ensemble to be invited to perform at the Midwest Clinic and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles Conference. The Metropolitan Music Community, a 501c3 non-profit corporation on which Jeff serves as a board member, oversees all three organizations.
Jeff is in his twelfth year as Director of Bands and sixth year as Coordinator of Performing Arts at the Grand Street Campus (GSC) High Schools in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. His responsibilities include direction of the GSC Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Band A and Beginner Band as well as overseeing a large performing arts department comprising more than 110 drummers, 100 choral students, and courses in guitar, music theory and theater technology. The six bands at GSC involve over 400 students from the three Title 1 (high poverty) high schools that make up the campus. Over 95% of the band students at GSC begin their musical training in the ninth grade. Despite this late start, the four concert bands and two jazz bands at the school consistently receive the top ratings of “Gold” and “Gold with Distinction” at the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) festival, often participating at the highest levels of five and six. Jeff has given the presentation about his work at Grand Street titled “Successful Urban Band Director: Making it Work Where it Usually Doesn’t” at many state and national music education conferences.
Additionally, Jeff now serves as director of the New York City “All-City” High School Concert Band, a ninety-piece auditioned honors ensemble that meets weekly and comprises the finest high school age musicians from New York City. Jeff also spent five years as director of the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble and as director of the New York City “All-City” High School Marching Band.
Jeff received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and Jazz Studies from Ithaca College in 2003 and his Master's Degree in Music Education from the same institution in 2008. He continues his education by regularly attending conducting symposiums led by the finest collegiate and professional conductors in the world. Jeff is a member of NYSSMA, NYSBDA, NAfME, MEANYC, Pi Kappa Lambda and CBDNA. A resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, he is an active guest conductor and clinician.
Kimberly Roof received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Toledo and her Master of Music in Conducting from Ohio University. After teaching elementary through high school band and marching band for two years in Ohio, she moved to New York in 2006 to teach at Baldwin High School in Long Island, NY. Currently, she works at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan where she teaches Woodwinds, Chamber Winds, Music Theory, and Band. She performs regularly with the Brooklyn Wind Symphony, which is under the auspice of the Metropolitan Music Community, where she serves as the Assistant Conductor and clarinetist, and in 2018 she was appointed as the MMC Interim President.
Committed to advancing the wind band medium, Kimberly is actively involved in commissioning projects with MMC, NYSBDA (New York State School Band Directors Association), and A.S.P.I.R.E. (Advancement of Secondary and Primary Instrumental Repertoire Excellence). Since working in Baldwin she has commissioned 7 new pieces for the wind band from new and established composers: Michael Colgrass, Adam Schoenberg, Paul Moravec, Anthony Barfield, David Heckenorn, Joel Puckett and Ken Lampl. In 2016 many of these commissioned works were recorded by the Baldwin Wind Symphony, and in the same year she gave a clinic on Commissioning for the High School Ensemble at the CBDNA Eastern Division Conference.
Kimberly has been selected and participated in conducting seminars at the Eastman School of Music, Juilliard School of Music, The Hartt School of Music, as well as the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
In addition to her musical endeavors, Kimberly is a lover of delicious food and drink, and participates competitively in triathlons (she is now an Ironman!) and can be found running or cycling throughout NYC.