University of South Florida

School of Music

USF College of The Arts

Festival of Winds Information

The University of South Florida’s School of Music is proud to host the 47th Festival of Winds on December 1-4, 2022. FOW was founded by Jim Croft in 1974 and has grown to become one of the finest events of its type in the southeast. In addition to playing in one of three large concert bands conducted by outstanding clinicians, students will participate in master classes, attend multiple concerts, play in a chamber ensemble or jazz band, and experience the thrill of being on a college campus for four days. Participants are nominated by their band directors based on their musical and leadership excellence, and must be high school sophomores, juniors, or seniors in order to be eligible.    

The 2022 Clinicians are Dr. Amy Acklin (University of Louisville), Dr. Terry Austin (ret. Virginia Commonwealth University), and Professor Ray Cramer (ret. Indiana University). We are confident that there are no finer clinicians in the country, and that these three exceptional musicians will provide deeply enriching experiences for the participating students. In addition, students will interact with and learn from USF's outstanding School of Music faculty.  


Coming Soon



Nominations for the 2022 USF Festival of Winds will open on August 29.  
Nomination Link

The nomination window closes on September 30 and you will be notified of the results shortly afterwards. Please note that sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible.   

For several years an important aspect of our festival has been that in addition to the three large concert bands, students also play in an instrumental choir - flute choir, percussion choir, etc – or in an auditioned jazz band. The jazz band and other chamber ensembles will perform on Saturday evening.  Students who wish to be considered for the jazz band will submit a separate audition recording. If you have pianists, percussionists, and bassists who play both classically and jazz, please consider nominating them. Same if you have a great guitarist who also plays a concert band instrument as well.  

A few notes about the nomination process: 

We will guarantee acceptance to the first two names on your list.  
In addition to nominating your top players, please make sure you are nominating students who are mentally prepared to handle the intense weekend.  

Before you nominate a student, please make sure they a) want to attend, and b) can afford to attend. You would be surprised at how many people don’t take these steps, and it causes issues for us and them later. 

We welcome students of all orientations. When they register it is imperative that we know whether they should be placed in a room with males or females. For safety reasons we are unable to accommodate students who want a single room. In the past, we have had parents come stay in a hotel with students who were not comfortable rooming with their peers. Parents would be responsible for setting that up themselves.   

The cost for FOW this year is $285 for Resident Students, and $240 for Commuters. 

The 2022 Clinicians are Dr. Amy Acklin (University of Louisville), Professor Ray Cramer (ret. Indiana University), and Dr. Terry Austin (ret. Virginia Commonwealth University). I am confident that there are no finer clinicians in the country, and that these three exceptional musicians will provide experiences that the students will never forget. 

We also pleased to announce that the festival will once again feature performances by two outstanding high school bands. This year the terrific Leon High School Symphonic Band under the direction of Lee Commander, and JW Mitchell High School Wind Ensemble under the direction of Joshua Hobbs and Drake Middlebrook will perform on Friday evening. 


Audition Information will be posted on October 7. Auditions are for chair placement and not for acceptance into the festival. 


headshot amy acklin


Amy Acklin serves as the Associate Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Louisville where she directs the UofL Cardinal Marching Band and UofL Symphonic Band and teaches courses in undergraduate conducting and music education. Under her direction, the UofL Symphonic Band performed at the 2016 CBDNA Southern Division Conference and the 2015 Kentucky Music Educators Association Professional Conference. Previously, Dr. Acklin taught instrumental music in the California public schools for six years.  

Dr. Acklin is an active conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the country and currently serves as the National Band Association Kentucky State Chair and the KMEA College/University Chair. She was awarded the 2018 KMEA University Teacher of the Year Award, the National Band Association Citation of Excellence, and inducted into the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. Dr. Acklin holds B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Louisville and a Ph.D. in Music Education/Instrumental Conducting from Florida State University. 

head shot of terry austin

Terry Austin 

Terry Austin recently retired from Virginia Commonwealth University following 36 yeas of serving as their Director of Bands. At VCU he was tasked with overseeing all aspects of the band program and teaching courses in conducting and music education. Under his leadership VCU’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble earned was invited to perform at many prestigious conferences including those held by the American Bandmasters Association, MENC, the College Band Directors National Association, and the Virginia Music Educators Association. In addition, he served as the Chair of the Department of Music for his final four years. 

Austin has long been an active guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, and in addition to his work at VCU has been an influential force in bands throughout the United States. He founded and conducts the Greater Richmond Youth Wind Ensemble, an ensemble of the finest high school musicians in the Richmond metropolitan area, and the Commonwealth Winds, an ensemble comprised of Richmond-area teachers and professional performers. He also serves as the co-conductor of the Virginia Wind Symphony in Norfolk.  

Austin earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Indiana University, a Master of Arts in Music Education from the University of Hawaii, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an elected member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association (for which he served as the 78th president), and he spent 25 years serving as the Chair of the National Band Association/William D. Revelli Band Composition Contest. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the John Philip Sousa Foundation, a past-board member of the National Band Association, and the Southern Division of The National Association for Music Education, and past-president of the Virginia Music Educators Association. He is a regular guest conductor of the Musashino Academia Musicae Wind Ensemble and a Guest Professor of the Center of General Education of Guangdong University of Technology in Guangzhou, China.  

head shot of ray cramer


Ray E. Cramer was a member of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music faculty for 36 years.  When Professor Cramer was the Director of Bands the IU Wind Ensemble earned an international reputation for outstanding musical performances. He is a past National President of the College Band Directors National Association and The American Bandmasters Association. He also served as president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association, the North Central Division of CBDNA and the Big Ten Band Directors Association. He was a member of the Midwest Clinic Board of Directors for 20 years and was president 13 of those 20 years.  He is an Advisory Board member for the Japan Band Clinic and was elected as an Honorary Member of the Japan Band Directors Association in 2016.  

Mr. Cramer has received numerous awards including the Edwin Franko Goldman award (2002), The MENC Lowell Mason Fellow Medallion (2003), Midwest Clinic Medal of Honor (2005), Bands of America Hall of Fame (2006), The Northshore Concert Band Lifetime Achievement Award (2006), the 17th Japan Academic Society of Winds, Percussion and Band Award (2007), The Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts by the National Band Association (2008), the John Paynter Lifetime Achievement Award (2009) the National Band Association “Hall of Fame of Distinguished Conductors” (2009) and the CBDNA “Lifetime Achievement Award.” (2015)  

Mr. Cramer remains actively involved in clinics and guest conducting engagements nationally and internationally. He serves as a regular guest conductor for the Musashino Academy of Music in Tokyo. (1990 to present)  He has conducted the Musashino Wind Ensemble on tours throughout Japan and three performances at the Midwest Clinic in 1995, 2006 and 2018. He holds degrees from Western Illinois University and the University of Iowa, Honorary Doctorates from Western Illinois University and the VanderCook College of Music.  In 2009 he was awarded an Honorary Professorship at the Musashino Academia of Musicae in Tokyo.  

He and his wife Molly of 54 years, reside in Colorado Springs.