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 a second-tier ensemble, the eighty-piece Grand Street Community Band. The Metropolitan Music Community, a 501c3 non-profit corporation on which Mr. Ball serves as a board member, oversees both organizations.
Mr. Ball is in his eighth year as Director of Bands and third year as Coordinator of Performing Arts at the Grand Street Campus High Schools in the East Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. His responsibilities include direction of the Grand Street Campus Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Band A and Brass Choir as well as overseeing a large performing arts department comprising more than 200 dancers, 100 choral students, and courses in A.P. Music Theory and theater technology. The five bands at the Grand Street Campus involve over 210 students from the three Title 1 high schools that make up the campus. Almost all of the band students at Grand Street begin their musical training in the ninth grade. Despite this late start, the three 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.
Additionally, Mr. Ball is in his third year as director of the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble, which primarily comprises graduate and undergraduate students in music education and music performance. Under his baton, this ensemble presents at least four concerts a year and has begun branching out to other venues such as the Columbia University Festival of Winds. Mr. Ball is also Principal Director of the New York City “All-City” High School Marching band, an honors ensemble that has more than doubled its roster under his leadership. Its weekly rehearsals attract the finest band and color guard students from over 30 public high schools within the five boroughs of New York City.
Mr. Ball 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 regularly attends summer conducting symposiums led by the finest collegiate and professional conductors in the United States. Mr. Ball is a member of NYSSMA, NAfME, MEANYC, Pi Kappa Lambda and CBDNA. A resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, he is an active guest conductor and clinician.
Jasmine Britt hails from Pembroke Pines, Florida. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Florida State University and her Master’s in Music Education from Ithaca College. Upon graduating with honors from FSU in 2004 Ms. Britt taught band at Olsen Middle School in Dania Beach, Florida where her students participated in the Broward All-County Band and Florida All-State Bands. In 2007 she became the band director at Middle School 50 in Brooklyn, leading the symphonic band to its first Gold Medal Rating at NYSSMA evaluation in 2009 then again in 2010 and 2011. Ms. Britt is currently a band director at the Grand Street Campus High Schools, directing the Symphonic Band, Jazz Band B, the Concert Band and several chamber ensembles. Despite a busy schedule as a full-time music teacher, she remains an active clarinetist and bass clarinetist and has performed with the Broward Community College Band, Broward Community College Orchestra, Dolce Winds Woodwind Quintet, Utiopia Winds, Brooklyn Repertory Opera, and Brooklyn Wind Ensemble. She is a founding member of the ensemble that became the Brooklyn Wind Symphony.