Because music should be part of our lives forever!
The GWS Team
The Georgia Wind Symphony (GWS) is one of Georgia’s newest concert bands and is rapidly becoming one of the most highly acclaimed groups in the Southeast. The ensemble is comprised of men and women from all walks of life including teaching, business, music, engineering, administration, legal, and other professions. The ensemble's performances have included prestigious events like the Georgia Music Educator's Association convention and the American Bandmasters Association national conference to seasonal concerts for the Atlanta community.
GWS brings great musical enjoyment to audiences throughout the state and is an example of musical excellence for all.
Dr. David W. Vandewalker
David W. Vandewalker, a third generation wind band conductor, is an elected American Bandmasters Association member, four-time elected National Band Association Board of Director, invited ASPIRE Commissioning Project Board of Director, Sousa Foundation's Sudler Flag of Honor Selection Committee member, and author of music education resources distributed internationally.
Dr. Vandewalker serves as music director and principal conductor of the Georgia Wind Symphony. Additionally, he is the artistic director and conductor of the Metropolitan Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble, executive director for the Feierabend Association for Music Education, and executive director of the Conn Selmer Parent Booster Community. As lead creative consultant for Strategic Musications, he is active nationally as an instructional coach and professional development presenter for music directors, programs, and school districts.
Previously, Dr. Vandewalker served as the Coordinator of Performing Arts for the Fulton County Schools (2016-2020) supporting the music education and music therapy faculty who serve 96,000 students in Atlanta, associate conductor for Tara Winds (2017-2019), assistant director of bands at Georgia State University (2012-2016) and Director of Bands at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Georgia (2000-2012). Dr. Vandewalker earned degrees at Baylor University, Central Michigan University, and Boston University where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education.
Dr. Vandewalker is an award-winning educator with a well-rounded background in choral, orchestral, wind band, and conducting arts offering successful active practice teaching experiences in elementary, secondary, and higher education in a range of diverse settings (public, urban, suburban, transient, etc.). Throughout his 30+ years of artistic and administrative service, he has dedicated himself to cultivating high standards of excellence through comprehensive student-centered instruction, mentoring young educators through an active practicum of music teaching and learning, and examining and refining pedagogy in conjunction with expressive musical performance.
As a performer, Dr. Vandewalker enjoys artistic development as a vocalist, cellist, and clarinetist with thirty-one years of teaching experiences spanning elementary, middle school, high school, and higher education as a conductor of both choral and instrumental ensembles. Additionally, David studied with Jos Wuytack, student and friend of Carl Orff, for his Orff-Schulwerk Level 2 certification and served as a lead curriculum writer for both Cobb County School District and the Georgia Department of Education.
As an avid supporter of new music for the wind band, David W. Vandewalker consistently works with composers, arrangers, and performing artists in the wind band medium. Residencies and collaborations with composers and other conductors are integral to his creative work. Performances under his direction have received the praise of such notable composers/conductors as Steven Bryant, David Dzubay, John Mackey, Scott McAllister, Ray Cramer, Fredrick Fennell, Col. Arnold Gabriel, Gary Green, Michael Haithcock, James Keene, and Kevin Sedatole.
Dr. Vandewalker is a recipient of the Sudler Flag of Honor, ten-NBA Citation of Excellence Awards, three National Wind Band Honors Awards, is recognized in multiple editions of Who's Who Among American Teachers, and is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association. He has published numerous articles in professional journals, chapters in multiple volumes of the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band book series (GIA) and Rehearsing the High School Band (Hal Leonard), books including Boosters to the Rescue, and Strategic Plans for a Successful Booster Club (GIA), and Foundations for Wind Band Clarity- Arrangements for Concert Band, Foundations for Wind Band Clarity- Instructional DVD, and Everyday Stuff Every Director Needs to Know (Vision Publications). Additionally, Vandewalker is a renown staff development presenter having shared throughout the United States, Japan, Kenya, Botswana, Malawi, and Finland with multiple clinician appearances for GMEA, Music for All Summer Symposium, Smith Walbridge Directors Institute, Texas Bandmasters Association, and the Midwest Clinic.
A Conn-Selmer Artist/Educator, he has led concerts before esteemed audiences such as the CBDNA/NBA, Music for All National Concert Festival, and the Midwest Clinic. Marching Bands under his instruction received honors including participation in the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade, 2009 & 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, ranked top-ten nationally by the 2013 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), and Bands of America Grand National Finalist.
David and his wife, Pamela, reside in Marietta where she is Minister of Creativity and Worship Programming at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church where she has over 900 children actively involved in music making each week. Pamela (Master of Music in Choral Conducting - UM/Kansas City Conservatory) is a 2014 Dove Award winner for Best Children’s/Youth Musical in her collaboration with Veggie Tales/Big Idea. Together, David and Pamela created Teeny Tykes and Tunes, an early childhood music curriculum series published in English and Spanish (Vision Publications) along with Teeny Tykes and Tunes: Africa Edition, Volume 1 and 2 (CLMC/Nairobi).
Dr. David Gregory
David Gregory is the founder of and the Conductor Emeritus of the Georgia Wind Symphony. He is former Director of Bands/Coordinator of Music Education at Reinhardt University (Ret.) and Director Emeritus of Tara Winds. He has conducted elementary, junior high, high school, community college, university, and professional bands during his career.
A former director of bands at Hardaway High School in Columbus (GA), Forest Park High School in Forest Park (GA), and the University of Florida in Gainesville, (FL), and former Clayton County (GA) Coordinator of Instrumental Music, Dr. Gregory served as Assistant to the Superintendent in that school system for twelve years until his retirement from public school work. Dr. Gregory is a Past President of the National Band Association and served eight years as Advisor to the Executive Committee of that organization. At Reinhardt University Dr. Gregory taught undergraduate Music Education classes, music technology, conducting, and orchestration and arranging courses; conducted the Wind Ensemble; supervised student teacher interns; and was coordinator of the Music Education program. Additionally, he taught graduate classes in conducting, scoring and arranging, literature, and directed international studies. He was the Georgia NAfME Collegiate advisor and coordinator of all state NAfME Collegiate activities for GMEA from 2007 until his retirement in 2014.
He has been a member of the John Philip Sousa Foundation “Legion of Honor” and “Sudler Scroll” Selection Committees, and he served eight years as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Band Association, and eight years on the staff of Conn-Selmer Institute. His past and present professional affiliations include Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Beta Mu, the National Band Association, Music Educators National Conference, College Band Directors National Association, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, Georgia Music Educators Association, American School Band Directors Association, Phi Delta Kappa, the Florida Bandmasters Association, and Pi Kappa Lambda. He is an elected member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and served as a member of the Board of Directors for that organization.
Board of Directors
Caroline Miller | Treasurer
Anna Ragan | Secretary/Communications
Jennifer McCarthy | Program Coordinator
Len Insalaca | Logistics Coordinator
Tom Miller | Member at Large