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 provide 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!

2020-21 UWAY Schedule

UWAY performances and rehearsals are held at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s historic Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts. Rehearsals take place Tuesday evenings, 6:30-8:45 p.m., during the academic year.

  • Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020 (4 p.m.)
  • Sunday Dec. 6, 2020 (3 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 (7 p.m.)
  • Sunday, May 2, 2021 (3 p.m.)

2020-21 Entrance Auditions and Registration

Musicians submit their registration information and audition video together. We recommend that you finalize your audition video before you begin the registration process. Tuition discounts are available for new and All Star students who complete the registration/audition process by May 15.

  • Returning UWAY musicians (2019-20 participants) are exempt from the spring entrance audition and will receive discounted tuition if they complete their registration by May 15. After registering, musicians will receive membership materials and a link to the payment website.
  • New musicians (including February 2020 UWAY All Stars) who are applying to UWAY in 2020-21 must submit an audition video following the guidelines below. Please prepare your audition video before starting the online registration form.

Spring audition requirements  (For new & All Star UWAY applicants only)

  • 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 and some other area of percussion performance. If you don’t have access to percussion instruments, please email Dr. Corley at

Submitting your audition video  
Record an audition video that incorporates all of the above requirements and save it as a single video file. Upload your audition video to a private YouTube channel, iCloud, Dropbox, or another cloud-based storage platform, and then share the link in the spring registration/audition form.

Register Now!

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

Faculty 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.

UWAY tuition ranges from $275 to $350 for musicians who apply by May 15. After this date, fees range from $350 to $400. Musicians who are accepted to both UWAY and the UWM Youth Jazz Ensembles program (UJAY) will pay $650 total ($325 to each program). More information about UWAY scholarships and payment methods will be communicated in acceptance materials. All tuition payments are non-refundable.

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, September 1, 2020. All UWAY students participate in these auditions. Specific information and requirements will be mailed later in the summer.


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)