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About the Arizona Wind Symphony


Now in its 20th season, the Arizona Wind Symphony (AWS) entertains Tempe and surrounding communities with an enjoyable variety of music in the beautiful Tempe Center for the Arts. Under the baton of William J. Richardson, the AWS is a 90-piece concert band comprised of musicians passionately committed to presenting music of the highest caliber. AWS is comprised of music professionals, non-professionals and students. Joined together by a shared joy and commitment to the arts, AWS musicians are proud to share their time and talents for enriching the cultural landscape of our community. 


A registered 501c3 non-profit, the Arizona Wind Symphony is partially supported by funding from the City of Tempe, the Arizona Commission of the Arts, Friends of TCA, and donors like you!

Conductor of the Arizona Wind Symphony is William J. Richardson, a music educator

with over 30 years of service in Arizona schools. He is also the original

director of the Arizona Ambassadors of Music, an honor group that has traveled

to Europe every other summer since 1987. The summer of 2019 was his 17th concert

tour of Europe. Mr. Richardson received his Bachelors and Masters degrees

in Music Education from the University of Arizona and retired from Corona del Sol

High School in Tempe where his groups long distinguished themselves by excellence

in training and performance. Mr. Richardson is currently employed by the

Arizona Music Educators Association as chairman of the annual statewide AMEA

Teachers’ In-Service Conference. He also coordinates for the City of Tempe “Music

Under the Stars”, an outdoor concert for the public in April. He Has been a

frequent adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor for honor bands and festivals

throughout the American Southwest and a trombonist with the Tempe Symphony

Orchestra. Among his many accolades, Mr. Richardson was selected to receive

the American School Band Directors Association Stanbury Award for Teaching

Excellence at both the state and regional levels. In addition he received the Arizona

Music Educator’s Association Golden Anniversary Commemorative Award for

Teaching Excellence. He received the inaugural ASU Lillian Williams Outstanding

Band Directors Award, and the George C. Wilson AMEA Leadership/Service

Award. He was named Teacher of the Year at two different Arizona schools in his

career, and was honored as AMEA Arizona Music Educator of the Year for in 1992.

Tempe Center for the Arts


The Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA), completed in September, 2007, is a vibrant gathering place for regional performing and visual arts events. Although designed for all audiences, the facility is the new home of a number of children’s performance groups. TCA forms a crossroads for performing arts and park activities; framing scenic vistas, integrating pedestrian connections to a new riverfront park, and reflecting the important cultural traditions of the City of Tempe.


The Center's character reflects its function as a civic meeting place and a symbol of Tempe's desert landscape and history. Its design draws upon significant historic, climatic, and contextual traditions for inspiration, while utilizing modern technology to create outstanding performance spaces that promote flexible use and allow intimate connections between performer and audience. On the exterior, a curved concrete wall serves to enclose and unify the main building, while a sculptural shed roof provides necessary acoustical and solar protection, and serves as a memorable icon when viewed from the river area, landing aircraft, and the City of Tempe.