The Lakewood Ranch Wind Ensemble (LRWE) was founded in 2019 with the intent of providing a vehicle for professional wind and percussion players to perform concert band and wind ensemble literature at a high level. The LRWE is dedicated to serving the community by providing our Suncoast audiences with a unique opportunity to hear and appreciate high quality wind ensemble literature played at a professional level. Additionally, the LRWE serves as a role model for young student musicians.
The Lakewood Ranch Wind Ensemble had a humble beginning. Founder Joe Miller, with help from others, met with 33 musicians for a 2-hour reading session at Manatee High School Band Room. The session was exciting! The musicians were excited, and, with the help of John Cooley, Personnel Manager, and Diane Nichols, clarinetist, a schedule was developed that reflected the availability of the musicians. Currently, the musicians in the LRWE perform in no less than fourteen other performing groups throughout the concert season.
The Future Sounds Great
Our Premier Concert was performed on Sunday, November 24, 2019, at Our Lady of the Angels Church Hall. With all the enthusiasm generated from our Premier Concert, our goal now is to perform three concerts during the season from November through May of each year.
Joseph “Joe” Miller’s performance career began at age 12, playing first chair solo cornet in his father’s concert band in Mechanicville, N. Y. Mr. Miller earned a BS in Mathematics and Physics from Siena College, a Master’s in Operations Research from Union College, and a Masters in Educational Administration from The College of St. Rose. He taught Physics and Chemistry at Mechanicville High School, became a Scientific Applications Programmer and Systems Analyst at General Electric, and worked on his PhD in Systems Engineering at Union College, where he became an Adjunct Associate Professor of Operations Research and Statistics.
Mr. Miller switched careers in 1975 and served as a junior high and high school music educator and band director. In 1994, he founded and was music director of the Capital Region Wind Ensemble, comprised of the finest performing and teaching musicians in the Albany, N. Y. region. Over the years, Mr. Miller has performed with many concert bands, big bands, symphony orchestras, pit orchestras, and show bands. Mr. Miller relocated to Venice, Florida in 2005. He has performed with the Venice Symphony, the Anna Maria Island Community Chorus and Orchestra, and several jazz groups, including the Savory Swing Band, Skip Conkling’s Dixie Mix, and numerous other organizations. He also has soloed with Dick Hyman and the VSO.