West Valley Wind Ensemble is a non-
The mission of our organization within our community and neighboring communities is to provide:
In addition to our main group, some of our members have formed specialty groups that perform in smaller more personal venues, focusing on unique sounds and style. Please follow our “Ensembles” tab in the navigation bar above for a more complete description of these groups.
Our director is Mr. Clark Chaffee. With extensive experience as a performer, conductor, and music educator, Mr. Chaffee brings a unique blend of perspectives to the podium. He is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and has earned music degrees from University of Michigan and Northern Illinois University. NIU named him the 2014 Distinguished Alum from the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The Illinois ASTA chapter named him the 2011 Classroom Teacher of the Year. He, his ensembles and the Stevenson High School music PLC team have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, the US Department of Education, the Kennedy Center, the Grammy Foundation and the Conductors Guild.
Now retired from his career building school orchestra and guitar programs, he remains active as a clinician and conductor. Mr. Chaffee has extensive experience conducting concert repertoire, and has also directed opera and musical theater production with a wide variety of ensembles and age levels.
His professional performing experience includes being a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus; timpanist for the Chicago Civic Orchestra, Elgin Symphony, Rockford Symphony and others; drummer for the University of Michigan Big Band; drummer/vocalist for jazz bands and his own jazz quartet. At an amateur level, Mr Chaffee’s experience includes many concerts and recitals playing bass, cello, viola, and classical guitar.
Since moving to the Phoenix area in 2013, Mr. Chaffee has been an active teacher, performer and clinician. In addition to his role as conductor of the West Valley Wind Ensemble, he conducts the Surprise Pops Band, is Principal Viola in the Sun City Chamber Orchestra and is music director for the Sun City All Stars Jazz Band. He performs regularly (drummer/vocalist) in several West Valley jazz ensembles including the Sun City Stomperz (classic Dixieland). He was timpanist for the 2016 tour of China for the American Festival Orchestra.
For further information about Mr. Chaffee, here is a link to his personal website.