Composer comments about the First Coast Wind Symphony.

“If one had the opportunity to attend a round-table discussion with composers Sam Hazo, Robert W. Smith, James Curnow, Robert Sheldon, Richard Saucedo, David Holsinger, and Mark Camphouse, it would most likely prove to be a very spirited exchange of seven decidedly different points of view regarding virtually all aspects of the creative process. But there would, most assuredly, be unanimous agreement on this important point: recognizing and saluting the significant musical achievements and educationally enriching activities of the First Coast Wind Symphony ... a first-rate ensemble that is clearly emerging as a key player in the American community band movement. And to Artie Clifton: bravo sir, on your artistic vision, superb musicianship, and dedication to enhancing the cultural vibrancy of the greater Jacksonville community.”

-Mark Camphouse, Feb. 2017

“Guest conducting the First Coast Wind Symphony was such a genuine pleasure. This group of fine musicians are as warm and friendly as they are musically talented. I truly hope I have another chance to share the stage with them!”

–Samuel Hazo, Feb. 2016

“What a pleasure and thrill it was for me to work with the First Coast Wind Symphony! The group is comprised of highly motivated and talented musicians who share a passion for music and performance. It was an honor to conduct and compose for the group. I look forward to returning at the first opportunity! Sincere thanks and best wishes to all!”

–Robert W. Smith, Feb 2015

“An amazing musical experience…guest conducting the First Coast Wind Symphony, under the expert direction of a masterful musician like Artie Clifton, was a delightful pleasure. Conducting musicians who enjoy each other both musically and socially creates a wonderful atmosphere for excellent music making. You are FANTASTIC! Thank you!”

–James Curnow, Feb 2014

“My sincere thanks to Artie Clifton and the First Coast Wind Symphony for inviting me to share a concert with them in a performance of my music. As a composer, it is always gratifying to be asked to conduct my own works with a Wind Symphony, but to hear such an outstanding group of musicians performing at such a high level of musical integrity was a special treat. What a fantastic wind symphony! Their professionalism, artistry and energy certainly make this one of the premiere community bands in the country, and certainly one of the musical crown jewels of Florida. Best wishes for continued success!”

–Robert Sheldon, Feb 2013

“Guest Conducting the First Coast Wind Symphony will go down as one of my fondest memories as a conductor, music educator and composer! The quality by which this professional sounding Symphony promotes the arts through concerts and outreach programs makes them one of the most influential and relevant wind symphonies of our time!”

–Richard L. Saucedo, Feb 2012

“The First Coast Wind Symphony is a hidden gem on the verge of greatness! Marvelous musicians under marvelous leadership! Wind and Percussion fans take note. These are concerts you will NOT want to miss!”

–David Holsinger, Feb 2011