Manhattan Wind Ensemble is a community for professional and amateur musicians in NYC to come together to perform and expand the wind band literature and engage with audiences throughout the New York area.

We are an approximately fifty-person symphonic band composed of both professional and non-professional woodwind, brass and percussion players. Under the direction of its Music Director, Sarah Fernandez, the Manhattan Wind Ensemble rehearses weekly and performs several times per year throughout the New York City community.

Manhattan Wind Ensemble, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. The Board of Directors of Manhattan Wind Ensemble, Inc. is responsible for organizing and managing the day-to-day operations and long-term goals of the ensemble. Bylaws of Manhattan Wind Ensemble, Inc.

MWE is celebrating its tenth anniversary. The group was founded in 2007 by Jessica Shatz. Christopher Baum served as music director through the 2013-2014 season.

Musical Director Sarah Fernandez
In her debut as the artistic leader of a wind band, Sarah Fernandez is the Music Director for Manhattan Wind Ensemble. Recognized for her humorously detailed imagery and tremendously exuberant podium presence, she’s a passionate proponent for serving the community an enriching musical experience, performer and listener alike! She enthusiastically supports sharing the uniquely invigorating sound of the wind band with the community. Perhaps it is the school teacher in her, but she believes in being equally attentive to the musicians and audience members, making concerts musically and educationally engaging for a wide spectrum of participants. Fernandez sees a wealth of potential in the ensemble, and, as a new artistic voice, aims to encourage the performance of our repertoire’s “hidden gems” as well as continue the legacy of supporting the classics.

Fernandez received her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, Stockton, California, where she graduated cum laude. She completed her Masters Degree in Music Education at Teachers College at Columbia University in 2012. Currently, Quiroz is Choral Director and General Music Teacher at Forest Road Elementary School in Nassau County. She is also active as a pianist, clarinetist, conductor and clinician in New York.

Fernandez made her first appearance on the podium in Stockton, California, guest conducting the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the University of the Pacific Wind Ensemble, student recitals and composition premieres during her undergraduate study. This was followed by a 3-year period as Guest Conductor then Assistant Director of the Columbia University Wind Ensemble. During the summer months, Fernandez leads the Columbia Summer Winds as Associate Conductor, working with colleagues Andy Pease and Bill Tonissen and collaborating with composers such as Michael Markowski and Jim Territo. Her conducting teachers include Eric Hammer, Nicholas Waldvogel, Dino Anagnost, and Virginia Allen. Further study includes symposiums with distinguished conductors Jerry Junkin, Richard Floyd, Mallory Thompson and Robert Halseth. She also holds active memberships in College Band Directors National Association, NYSSMA, Nassau Music Educators Association, the Association of Concert Bands and the National Association for Music Education.

Joining the Manhattan Wind Ensemble 

The MWE welcomes a variety of interested and talented people to join the MWE family. We are interested in auditioning top musicians and to speaking with individuals who are interested in joining our Board or any of our ad hoc committees. For auditions or Board inquiries, please contact info@manhattanwindensemble.com.

About the Board of Directors and Management of MWE

Manhattan Wind Ensemble, Inc. is governed by its Board of Directors. For the 2019-2020 Season, the Board, Artistic Leadership and Management of the ensemble is as follows:

Andrew Raff, President
Michael Jones, Treasurer
Jonathan Illari, Secretary
Brian Spund, Director-at-Large

Sarah Fernandez, Music Director

Dawn Barrett, Personnel Director

MWE Logo

The new MWE logo, adopted by the group in 2018, was created by Cindy Seunarine.