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The 2019 registration is now open. Pre-registration rates are as follows:
$130 Early Bird Professional Rate
Through Oct. 1st
$160 Pre-conference Professional Rate
Through Dec. 13th
$95 Early Bird First Time Attendee Professional Rate
Through Oct. 1st 

College Student Rate
Through Dec. 13th

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Applications to perform or to propose a clinic at the 68th Annual Midwest Clinic are now available!

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Cobb Wind Symphony

  • COBB WIND SYMPHONY 20th Anniversary Season Alfred L. Watkins, Co-Founder, Music Director and Conductor Robert J. Cowles, Co-Founder, Assistant Conductor Formed in September 1999, the Cobb Wind Symphony is comprised of adult musicians from all over the Atlanta area. The group is under the batons of Alfred L. Watkins, retired Director of Bands at Lassiter High School and Robert J. Cowles, former Director of Bands at Walton High School. CWS was created to provide a musical outlet for musicians of Cobb County and the Atlanta area and to further the development of band music. Members benefit from the positive musical experiences brought about by music making in the spirit of camaraderie, and from the opportunity to serve the community through a lifelong love of music with concerts in local schools and outdoor venues. The band rehearses twice a month on Sundays at Lassiter High School in Marietta and perform three major concerts per year in the Lassiter Concert Hall. The group has grown from its initial 77 members to over 100, and includes musicians from all professions including current and former high, college and military band directors, private teachers, education, medicine, law, engineering, management and technology. The charter members include many Lassiter High School Band alumni and past students of Co-Founder Alfred Watkins. The Cobb Wind Symphony has performed at the following professional conferences: GMEA In-Service Conference - 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2015; Midwest Clinic - 2004, 2011 and 2018; National Band Assoc/College Band Directors National Association Southern Division Convention - 2006, 2008 and 2018; University of Georgia JanFest - 2010. Their annual concert schedule includes a Veteran’s Day Concert, Holiday Concert, Winter Concert and Children’s Concert. In 2009, the Cobb Wind Symphony earned the prestigious Sudler Silver Scroll Award, which recognizes community bands that demonstrated particularly high standards of excellence in concert activities over a period of several years, and played a significant and leading role in the cultural and musical environment in their respective communities. Previous guest conductors and soloists include: Dr. Harry Begian, Col. Arnald Gabriel, Mr. Ray Cramer, Dr. Julian E. White, Dr. David Gregory, Dr. Robert Grechesky, Dr. Mark Camphouse, Dr. Sue Samuels, Dr. John N. Culvahouse, Dr. David Holsinger, Dr. Richard Clary, Dr. Andrea Strauss, Mr. Timothy Adams, Gary Gribble, Andrew Cole, Ben Dubose and Michelle Richard. Guest soloists include: Dr. Otis Murphy, saxophone; John Jeffries, saxophone, Chris Martin, trumpet, Carol Doemel, trumpet, Cecil Welch, trumpet, Fred Mills, trumpet, Julie Gerhardt, horn, Colin Williams, trombone, James E. Thompson, Jr., trombone, Adam Frey, euphonium, Brandon Jones, euphonium and James Gourlay, tuba.
  • 12/20/2018 04:30 PM - 05:45 PM
  • Cobb Wind Symphony
  • Alfred L. Watkins and Robert J. Cowles
  • ALFRED L. WATKINS Co-Founder, Musical Director and Conductor Cobb Wind Symphony Alfred L. Watkins, Co-Founder, Musical Director and Conductor of the Cobb Wind Symphony, recently concluded his 37-year career as a high school band director. He was Director of Bands at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia for 31 years. For six years prior to joining Lassiter, Watkins served as Director of Bands at Murphy High School in the Atlanta Public Schools. Mr. Watkins is a 1976 graduate of Florida A & M University with additional study in conducting at Georgia State University. Bands under Watkins’ direction have performed five times at the Midwest Band Clinic, six performances at the MFA National Concert Band Festival and four performances at the GMEA In-Service Conference. The symphonic band has performed on seven college campuses and the Lassiter Percussion Ensemble has performed twice at the Midwest Clinic, PASIC, three times at the National Percussion Festival and four times at the GMEA In-Service Conference. The Lassiter Marching Band was the 1998 and 2002 Bands of America Grand National Champion and the band also won nine BOA Regional Championships. Under Watkins’ leadership, the band also participated in four Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parades (spanning 25 years), three times in the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade (NYC), twice in the King Orange Bowl Parade (FL) and once in the Florida Citrus Bowl Parade. During Mr. Watkins’ Lassiter tenure, all four (or five) Lassiter concert bands received consecutive Superior Ratings from 1993 until his retirement in 2013, with the top two bands earning consistent superior ratings in Grade VI for his last 24 years. The band program is one of few bands in America to have received both the Sudler Flag of Honor for outstanding concert bands and the Sudler Shield for outstanding marching band. The Lassiter Winter Color Guard was named Winter Guard International World Champions in Scholastic “A” and “Open Class” in 1996 and 1997. For well over 35 years, Watkins has been a judge for marching, concert bands and lecturer throughout the country. He has also had the pleasure of conducting All-State High School Bands in 18 states and has worked with bands from 35 states. Mr. Watkins has been selected as a member of the American Bandmasters Association, the Florida A & M University Gallery of Distinguished Alumni, the Georgia Chapter of the Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame and the Bands of America Hall of Fame. In 2014, Watkins received the Edwin Franko Goldman Award from ASBDA and in December 2017, he was a recipient with the Midwest Clinic Medal of Honor. In 2018, Mr. Watkins was the recipient of the Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity’s prestigious Distinguished Service to Music Medal. He has received 20 Certificates of Excellence from the National Band Association, the Sudler Order of Merit from the John Philip Sousa Foundation and the Band World Magazine Legion of Honor. Mr. Watkins is Co-Founder, Conductor and Musical Director of the Cobb Wind Symphony, an all-adult community band based in the Atlanta area, which has earned the Sudler Silver Scroll Award, performed three times at the Southern Division of CBDNA and has performed three times at the Midwest Clinic. At present, Watkins is one of the few conductors to hold three Sudler Awards (Flag, Shield, Silver Scroll) simultaneously. In 2009 and 2010, two doctoral dissertations were written centered around his life and work with the Lassiter Band Program. The $1.5 million Alfred L. Watkins Band Building at Lassiter High School bears his name. Currently, Mr. Watkins is a Co-Founder and President of the Minority Band Director National Association, Inc. and is an Educational Clinician for the Conn Selmer Corporation, Division of Education. He and his wife for 35 years, Rita, live in Marietta. They have two adult sons: Christopher, a trumpeter in the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, D.C. and Jonathan, a businessman in San Diego, CA.