Westmoreland Symphonic Winds
Westmoreland Symphonic Winds
The Westmoreland Symphonic Winds, a concert band in residence at Seton Hill University, is a wind and percussion performance and educational organization. Membership is composed of approximately 70 auditioned musicians, including music degree students from Seton Hill, professional musicians and talented avocational musicians.
Professor of Music Kathleen M. Campbell formed the Westmoreland Symphonic Winds in 1986. Campbell founded the group not only to enhance the ensemble curriculum for Seton Hill music students, but also to provide a quality and challenging musical outlet for community musicians while contributing to Westmoreland County's cultural heritage.
By striving for the highest possible performance standard and actively extending the learning process throughout adult life, the Westmoreland Symphonic Winds' mission is to provide an outstanding example of music education for the community surrounding it.
Music Director & Conductor
Dr. Christopher M. Marra is an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of Instrumental Activities at Seton Hill University. As a part of his duties, Dr. Marra conducts the Westmoreland Symphonic Winds and teaches courses in music education, conducting, and brass. He holds a B.S. in Music Education from Duquesne University, a MM in Music Education with an emphasis in wind band conducting from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. in Music Education with an emphasis in wind band conducting from the University of Michigan. Prior to his university teaching, Dr. Marra taught high school band and orchestra for 10 years in San Jose, CA where he held board positions with the CMEA Bay Section and the California Band Directors Association.
He is an active member and presenter at a variety of state, national, and international education organizations including: National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA), Michigan Music Educators Association (MMEA), Indiana Music Educators Association (IMEA), and California Band Directors Association (CBDA), and American Educational Research Association (AERA). Dr. Marra authored and co-authored several articles in the field of music education and has been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education (JRME), the Journal of Music Teacher Education (JMTE), and the Music Educator’s Journal (MEJ). He is a contributing author in The Oxford Handbook of Preservice Music Teacher Education and Critical Issues in Music Education: Contemporary Theory and Practice both published by Oxford University Press. Dr. Marra is an active guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator for several state and national organizations including Drum Corps International (DCI). His research interests include: social influence in music education, music teacher retention, and undergraduate teacher preparation.