Youth Wind Ensemble and Percussion Program (UWAY)

Perform with the BEST in the MIDWEST

Location: Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts

For nearly four decades the UW-Milwaukee Youth Wind & Percussion Ensembles program (UWAY) has provided the region’s finest woodwind, brass and percussion students the opportunity to perform traditional and contemporary repertoire with other like-minded musicians.

UWAY musicians are enrolled in grades eight through twelve and are actively involved in their school band/music program. Artist-faculty from the Peck School of the Arts at UW-Milwaukee lead UWAY rehearsals and performances. They work closely with other members of the university’s vibrant performing arts community to help student musicians further their skills by learning and performing in the university setting. Band directors and private teachers throughout southeastern Wisconsin provide additional instructional support to UWAY.

Thank you for your interest in UWAY. We look forward to making music together!

2021-22 Entrance Auditions and Registration

New UWAY students 

  • Any student-musician in 8th through 12th grades in the 2021-22 academic year are eligible to audition for UWAY membership. 
  • Area band directors and private instrumental instructors are welcomed to send recommendations for UWAY directly to Dr. Scott Corley, UWAY Music Director/Conductor ( 
  • Spring 2021 UWAY Entrance Auditions will be submitted by video or during one of our in-person audition dates.
  • New/prospective UWAY musicians who submit their registration and audition video link by Saturday, June 15 (and who are ultimately accepted to the UWAY program) will have a UWAY annual registration fee of $470.00. After June 15, additional fees may apply. 
  • UWAY Fall Placement Audition information and requirements will be posted and emailed to accepted UWAY musicians on/around August 1, 2021. The auditions will take place in-person at UWM’s Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

Registration and audition procedure 

  1. Review the information on the UWAY webpage and note the 2021-22 performance dates, weekly rehearsal commitment (Tuesdays, 6:30-8:45 p.m.), and other program expectations. 
  2. See the Spring audition requirements section below. These requirements are the same for students who elect to make an audition video and those who audition in person. 
  3. If you are submitting your audition video online – prepare the audition video before completing the registration form. (Part of the registration form requests the link to your finished video – so it’s best to have it done in advance.) 
  4. Record an audition video that incorporates all of the Spring audition requirements and save it as a single video file. Upload your audition video to a private or unlisted YouTube channel, iCloud, Dropbox, or another cloud-based storage platform, and then share the link in the UWAY Registration/Audition Form.  
  5. If you are going to audition inperson, you will select one of the in-person audition dates on the UWAY Spring 2021 Registration/Audition Form. Please complete the form at least one day prior to the respective in-person audition date. 

Register Now!

Spring audition requirements

  • Chromatic scale: A two-octave chromatic scale (any starting pitch), performed both ascending and descending. Rhythm or articulation patterns may be determined by the student. Additional range may be demonstrated. 
  • Solo: Any portion(s) from a prepared solo or etude, preferably with contrasting musical sections. A recent solo from solo/ensemble festival preparation is ideal. Please perform approximately three to four minutes of music.  
  • Percussionists: No chromatic scale required. Prepare two short solo excerpts that demonstrate your abilities on snare drum plus one other area of percussion performance. If you don’t have access to percussion instruments, please email Dr. Corley at 

Spring audition results

UWAY faculty and staff will evaluate audition submissions throughout the spring and share audition results within a few days of receiving an applicant’s audition and registration material. Accepted students will then receive membership information and a link to the tuition payment website.  

Based on the number of openings in the program and the level of performance as assessed through auditions, the Faculty will maintain a UWAY wait list. Some students may be “called up” from the wait list later in the spring. All wait-listed musicians are encouraged to apply for subsequent UWAY seasons.  

Returning UWAY students 

UWAY members in 2020-21 who participated in the Spring 2021 online and/or in-person activity.

  • No Spring 2021 Entrance Audition is required for returning UWAY musicians. 
  • Register your 2021-22 UWAY membership by completing the UWAY Spring 2021 Registration/Audition Form.
  • Returning-eligible UWAY students who complete the UWAY 2021-22 Registration Form by Saturday, June 15 will pay a reduced annual program fee ($400.00). After June 15, additional fees may apply. A link to our payment website will be sent after your registration form is completed and reviewed by the UWAY staff. 
  • UWAY Fall Placement Audition information and requirements will be posted and emailed to UWAY musicians on/around August 1, 2021. The auditions will take place in-person at UWM’s Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. 

Register Now!


The rates below apply to those who register and audition for UWAY by June 15, 2021. After this date, additional fees may apply. All registration fee payments are non-refundable. 

  • Returning UWAY Musicians$400.00 
  • New UWAY Musicians: $470.00 
  • UWAY and UWM Youth Jazz Ensembles (UJAY): $650.00
  • A link to our tuition/fee payment system, managed by the UWM Peck School of the Arts Box Office staff, will be sent after returning students submit their registration form and to new/prospective students after their audition video has been evaluated and if accepted. 
  • To secure your place in the program, a minimum (non-refundable) registration fee of $250.00 will be due before July 15, 2021. 


We are glad to assist any UWAY student-musician with a reduced registration fee (scholarship) as demonstrated through stated financial need. Please complete the UWAY Scholarship Form for consideration. 

Fall chair auditions

Musicians who accept UWAY’s invitation to join the program and complete the payment process will participate in a second audition for chair placement from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. All UWAY musicians participate in these auditions. Specific information and requirements will be mailed later in the summer.

2021-22 Performance Dates and Rehearsals

Regular UWAY rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings (6:30-8:45 p.m.) at UWM’s Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts: September 7, 2021 through December 7, 2021 & January 18 through May 3, 2022. 

All concerts take place at 4 p.m. with dress rehearsals for UWAY personnel running from 2-3:30 p.m.

  • Sunday, December 12, 2021
  • Sunday, March 6, 2022
  • Sunday, May 8, 2022

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 & Percussion Ensembles program (“UWAY”). Additionally, Dr. Corley directs the Panther (pep) Band, teaches courses in conducting and music education, and assists with the supervision of the University Bands operational area. As a frequent guest conductor with the UWM Wind Ensemble, Dr. Corley has conducted at numerous state, regional, and national conferences.
Scott graduated from the University of Iowa with a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Band Conducting in 2016. At Iowa, he was an Iowa Performance Fellow, Graduate Teaching Assistant, and a staff member of the Hawkeye Marching Band. Prior to his appointment in Milwaukee, Scott earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of South Carolina (his home state), and taught in the state’s 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 and off-campus activities. He has been clinician/adjudicator and guest conductor for a number of band festivals and middle/high school honor bands. 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. Dr. Corley has also led numerous premiere performances including works by composers John Mackey and Michael Markowski.

Senior Lecturer, Instrumental Conducting

Assistant Director of Bands

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


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


Alex Wier is a percussion artist and music educator with a diverse background in performance and teaching. He has presented solo recitals and clinics at numerous universities around the United States and performed with professional orchestras including the Milwaukee Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, Tucson Symphony, Omaha Symphony, and Wisconsin Philharmonic. A strong advocate of new music, Alex has also commissioned many new musical works and performed regularly with contemporary music ensembles including Fifth House Ensemble, Present Music, Romex Duo, Atlas Percussion, Cross//Hatch, Beyond This Point, Crossing 32nd Street, and the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Alex is the Assistant Professor of Percussion and Percussion Area Head at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he teaches applied percussion lessons, percussion methods, percussion history and literature, and is the Director of the Percussion Ensemble, Steel PANthers Steel Band, 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 serves on the Technology Committee and the Diversity Alliance of the Percussive Arts Society in addition to serving as the President of the Arizona PAS Chapter from 2012 to 2013.

Alex has performed and presented his research at a variety of conferences including the Balance-Unbalance, Listen(n) Symposium, Percussive Arts Society, and Midwest Clinic international conferences and the College Music Society National Conference. He has articles published in Percussive Notes and Rhythm! Scene, both publications of the Percussive Arts Society, as well as recordings on New Amsterdam, Summit, and Albany Records. He has also been the recipient of many grants and scholarships that supported his creative projects and travel for fieldwork and presentations that include the UWM Advancing Research and Creativity Grant, ASU JumpStart Research Grant, Henderson Endowment Fund, Shandel Education Plus Grant, and the PAS Armand Zildjian Scholarship.

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. Several of his works are published and available through Elision Publications.

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 Bachelor’s 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

Assistant Professor, Percussion

Area Head, Percussion

Director, Percussion Ensemble

Director, Steel PANthers Steel Band