About the Austin Symphonic Band

Our History

Our Mission: ASB is a group of volunteer musicians who combine their talents and services to provide performances of artistic merit for the benefit of Band members, audiences, and the Austin community. 

The Austin Symphonic Band (ASB) was founded in 1981 by local brass and woodwind musicians. Only three conductors have led ASB: Frank Simon, Randol Bass, and the current Music Director, Richard Floyd, who has served the band since 1986. Bill Haehnel was appointed Assistant Music Director in 2003.

Named the Official Band of the City of Austin by the Austin City Council in June of 1989, ASB has performed for City events such as the dedication of the Barbara Jordan passenger terminal at Austin Bergstrom International Airport and the Governor’s Welcome Home of the Troops from the Gulf War “Desert Storm” in 1991. ASB also works closely with local schools to provide mentoring, tutoring, performance opportunities, and free tickets to students.

In 1989, ASB was the first community band to perform the Grand Finale Concert at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. It returned for two additional appearances. ASB was featured at the American Bandmasters Association Conventions in 1993 and 2006. In addition, ASB was offered an invitational performance at the Western International Band Clinic in 2004. The band received the John Phillip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Scroll for outstanding achievement as a community band in 1994.

ASB commissions new music and performs contemporary music, providing support for the national community of composers and arrangers of concert band music. Works commissioned by ASB have included Dancing on Water by Frank Ticheli (2015).

ASB has enjoyed a long history of collaborating with outstanding guest soloists and conductors, including Boston Brass, Rhythm & Brass, Jim Walker (flute soloist), Pat Sheridan (tuba soloist), Tito Carrillo (jazz trumpet soloist) Steve Williamson (Chicago Symphony Principal Clarinetist), Clint Foreman (Boston Symphony Second Flutist), Synaesthesia Saxophone Quartet, and Austin Symphony Conductor Peter Bay.


Their energy was electric, and their artistry was inspiring. I am grateful for this, but not surprised, as it has always been a great pleasure to collaborate with ASB over the years. Indeed I am only one among many living composers who owe a debt of gratitude to this band for their powerful performances of our music.
— Frank Ticheli, composer (2015)

Achievements & Special Performances

1989: named the Official Band of the City of Austin

1989, 1997, 2007: performed at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic

1991: selected to perform at the Governor's Welcome Home of troops from the Gulf War “Desert Storm”

1994: recipients of the John Phillip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Scroll

1993 & 2006: performed at the American Bandmasters Association Convention

 

1999: served as dedication band for the Barbara Jordan Passenger Terminal at Austin Bergstrom International Airport

2004: performed at the Western International Band Clinic Convention

1988, 1995, 2004, 2008, 2014, 2018: performed at the Texas Bandmasters Association Convention