Youth Wind Ensemble and Percussion Program (UWAY)

UWM youth wind ensemble


Perform with the BEST in the MIDWEST

Location: Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts

The UW-Milwaukee Youth Wind Ensemble (UWAY), est. 1982, and Youth Percussion Program provide the region’s finest woodwind, brass and percussion students in grades eight through twelve the opportunity to rehearse and perform traditional and contemporary repertoire with other like-minded musicians. Students are led by artist-faculty from the Peck School of the Arts at UW-Milwaukee and work closely with other musical members of the university’s vibrant performing arts community.

UWAY participants work directly with music department faculty and staff, furthering their musicianship by performing in a university setting. The Youth Wind Ensemble program works in cooperation with high school music programs, relying on the support of school band directors and private teachers throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

2020-21 Tuition

  • First-year students: $390
  • “All Star” Band: $360 (For middle school students who participated in our Feb. 25, 2020 concert)
  • Returning-student: $330
    (For high school students who participated in UWAY in 2019-20 and perform a spring audition by May 5, 2020)
  • “Dual Enrollment” UWAY and UJAY (Youth Jazz Ensembles): $600 total

UWAY tuition also covers participation in the Youth Percussion Ensemble.

2020-21 Performance Schedule

Performances and rehearsals are held at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd.

Rehearsals take place Tuesday evenings, 6:30-8:45 p.m. during the academic year.

  • Concert #1: 4 p.m., Sunday Oct. 18, 2020
  • Concert #2: 3 p.m., Sunday Dec. 6, 2020
  • Concert #3: 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021
  • Concert #4: 3 p.m., Sunday, May 2, 2021 – Featuring the Winner of the annual UWAY Student Concerto/Solo Competition.  


Spring Entrance Auditions

To qualify to perform with UWAY, students must pass an entrance audition in the spring, a “placement” audition in late summer and remain enrolled in some aspect of their middle or high school music program.  

Each April/May, UWAY holds spring acceptance auditions throughout metro Milwaukee. Students may choose an audition site that is most convenient for them. Current UWAY performers should register for an audition on May 5 if at all possible.  

Students who perform successful Spring auditions will receive acceptance notification in late May and must confirm their participation in the program by the second week of June 2020.  

Once confirmed, students will participate in a second audition for chair placement on Tuesday, September 1, 2020 (6-8:30 p.m.). All UWAY students must participate in these auditions. Specific information and requirements will be mailed later in the summer. 



  • For all: Major scales up to three flats and three sharps (in your instrument’s key). Multiple octave in the same key are encouraged, but not required.
  • For all: A two-octave chromatic scale (any starting pitch), performed both ascending and descending. Rhythm or articulation patterns may be determined by the student. 
  • Woodwind/Brass/Double Bass: Any excerpts(s) from a prepared solo or etude, preferably with contrasting musical sections. A recent solo from solo/ensemble festival is ideal. Prepare to perform approximately three to four minutes of music.  
  • Percussionists: please prepare 2 short excerpts that demonstrate your abilities on snare drum and keyboard percussion. 

2020-21 Dates and Information

Students need only sign-up for one Spring UWAY audition date.

RETURNING UWAY students should plan to audition no later than Tuesday, May 5. 

In order for our office to confirm your individual audition time, please sign-up for your audition at least 3 business days before the audition date. 

Register Now!


Scott Corley


DMA, Conducting, University of Iowa
MM, Conducting, University of Georgia
BM, Music in Education, University of South Carolina


Scott R. Corley is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Peck School of the Arts. In this capacity, he serves as Assistant Director of University Bands and Music Director of the UWM Youth Wind Ensembles program. Dr. Corley is the conductor of the UWM Symphony Band, Youth Wind Ensemble I and Youth Chamber Winds, and directs the leadership of the University (campus) Band and Panther (pep) Band. Dr. Corley's other duties include teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting, assisting with the development of the graduate conducting students, and all administrative duties of the University Bands operational area.

Dr. Corley recently graduated from the University of Iowa with a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Band Conducting. At Iowa, Corley was an Iowa Performance Fellow, Graduate Teaching Assistant, and a staff member of the Hawkeye Marching Band. Prior to his appointment in Milwaukee, Corley earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of South Carolina (his home state), and taught in the public schools for four years. He was then awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship to the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia, where he earned a Master of Music degree in Conducting. At Georgia, Corley studied trumpet with Fred Mills and conducting with all of the school’s ensemble conductors, and was on the staff of the UGA Redcoat Band.

Since moving to Wisconsin in 2002, Dr. Corley has maintained an active schedule of University service, as well as activities off campus. He has been clinician/adjudicator and guest conductor for a number of band festivals and middle/high school honor bands in the region. Dr. Corley's publication credits include recording projects and contributions to written volumes. He has been a frequent nominee in "Who's Who Among America's Teachers," and was awarded Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Georgia in 2002. Dr. Corley maintains active participation in the College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association (Board of Directors, Wisconsin Chapter), Music Educators National Conference, and other professional music organizations.

As an advocate of new wind band music, and especially that for young/developing ensembles, Dr. Corley is frequently involved in commissioning projects, consortia, and assisted in the organization of CBDNA's Young Band Composition Competition in 2003 and 2005. Corley has led numerous premiere performances including works by composers Dwayne Milburn, Anthony Suter, and Michael Markowski.

Assistant Director of Bands

Senior Lecturer, Instrumental Conducting

John Woger

John Woger is the Director of Bands at Menomonee Falls High School in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, having served the district since 1990.  He has also served as the K-12 Music Department Chair and Curriculum Chair for the Menomonee Falls School District. Mr. Woger conducts the Freshman Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble and Marching Band.  The excellence of the Menomonee Falls Band program was honored by being named the first runner up for the American School Band Directors Association Dale C. Harris Exemplary Band Award and being recognized as a Grammy Signature School. The Menomonee Falls Bands and Jazz Ensembles have participated in clinics with many of the finest names in music education.  Guest clinicians include The Millar Brass Ensemble with Vincent Chichowicz, The United States Navy Brass Quintet, Dennis DiBlasio, The Dallas Brass, The Third Street Brass and Doc Severinsen. The Menomonee Falls district has also been active in commissioning five new works for band.  TheWisconsin Alliance of Composers selected the North Symphonic Band, under Mr. Woger’s direction, for the Youth Commissioning Project in 2006.

Mr. Woger is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.  Mr. Woger has had the privilege of conducting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Honors Band festival in both 2000 and 2003.  He has also served as the Principal Conductor for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Youth Wind Ensemble II (UWAY II).  He was honored with the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee Certificate of Excellence in Instrumental Music in 2009, the Herb Kohl Teacher Fellowship in 1999, the Milwaukee Symphony Recognition for Excellence in Instrumental Music (2009), the Menomonee Falls North PTSA Teacher of the Year Award in 1996 and 2005 and the Superintendent’s Child Advocacy Award in 2006.  He is listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Who’s Who In America and The National Honor Rolls Outstanding Teachers. In June of 2011, Mr. Woger was inducted into the Menomonee Falls School District Fine Arts Wall of Fame.

Mr. Woger is an accomplished trumpeter and has performed with many groups including the Wisconsin Wind Orchestra, The Waukesha Area Symphonic Band, The Bach Chamber Choir Orchestra, and many jazz ensembles throughout the Milwaukee area. Mr. Woger is also active as a guest conductor, composer, lecturer and clinician.

Alex Wier

profile photo
wier@uwm.eduZelazo 394


DMA, Percussion Performance, Arizona State University
MM, Percussion Performance, Northwestern University
BM, Percussion Performance, University of Arizona


Dr. Alex Wier is a percussion artist and music educator based in Milwaukee, WI. He has presented solo recitals and clinics at numerous universities around the United States. He has also performed with a number of professional orchestras, such as the Milwaukee Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, Tucson Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, and Crested Butte Music Festival Orchestra.

A strong advocate of new music, Alex has commissioned several percussion works and has performed regularly with contemporary music ensembles including Fifth House Ensemble, Atlas Percussion, Present Music, Cross//Hatch, Beyond This Point, Crossing 32nd Street, and the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble. He has also performed and presented his research at the Balance-Unbalance, Listen(n) Symposium, Percussive Arts Society, and The Midwest Clinic international conferences and the College Music Society National Conference.

Alex is currently the Head of the Percussion Area at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he teaches applied percussion lessons, percussion methods, percussion history and literature, and is the Director of the UWM Percussion Ensemble, UWM Marimba Band, and the UWM Youth Percussion Ensemble Program. He is also Adjunct Faculty at Phoenix College where he is the instructor of an online Rock Music and Culture course. Outside of school instruction, Alex has interacted with diverse student populations as a clinician, adjudicator, and active member of ensembles that have focused on community outreach. He also served as the President of the Arizona Percussive Arts Society Chapter from 2012 to 2013.

As a composer and arranger, Alex has written percussion solo and ensemble works for a variety of percussion instruments. His original composition for steel pan ensemble, Intown, won third prize in the James P. and Shirley J. O'Brien Endowment Composition Competition in 2014. His most recent work is centered on the utilization of live electronics with percussion instruments. Alex has been the recipient of several grants and scholarships, including the ASU JumpStart Research Grant, Henderson Endowment Fund, Shandel Education Plus Grant, and the PAS Armand Zildjian Scholarship, that assisted his creative projects and funded his attendance at various seminars and festivals around the United States and his fieldwork abroad.

Alex earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University and his culminating project was titled "Performer and Electronic-Activated Acoustics: Three New Works for Solo Percussion and Live Electronics." Alex also holds a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelors degree in Music Performance from the University of Arizona. Alex is an endorser of Marimba One marimbas and Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, in addition to being a member of the Black Swamp Percussion Educator Network.

Recent Work

  • Ripple - Akira Miyoshi (Alex Wier)

Area Head, Percussion

Director, Percussion Ensemble

Lecturer, Percussion


Our Philosophy

The UWM Youth Wind Ensemble program (UWAY) is designed to supplement the instruction students receive from their school music programs and private teachers. Musical experiences include opportunities to perform symphonic and chamber wind-band repertoire with other exceptionally talented students from the region, being led and inspired by artist-faculty from UW-Milwaukee, and working closely with other musical members of the university community.

Our Supporters

National Board of Advisors

Dr. Gary Ciepluch (Cleveland Institute/Case Western Reserve Univ.)
Dr. John Climer (Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Prof. Thomas Dvorak (UWM Youth Music Founder/Prof. Emeritus, UWM)
Prof. Michael Haithcock (Univ. of Michigan)
Prof. Gary Hill (Arizona State Univ.)
Dr. Charles Meghini (VanderCook College)
Dr. Scott Stewart (Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony)

UWAY Board of Directors

Tom Reifenberg, Greendale High School
Jacob Polancich, Hartland Arrowhead High School
John Woger, Menomonee Falls High School
Sharie Garcia, Milwaukee High School of the Performing Arts
James Beckman, Muskego High School
Amy Fuchs, Oak Creek High School
Jon Waite, Sussex Hamilton High School
Kristi Wicihowski, West Allis Nathan Hale High School
Rob Engl, Wauwatosa East High School (retired)