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About CWS

Formed in September 1999, the Cobb Wind Symphony in Marietta, Georgia is considered one of the finest all-adult community bands in the country. Heralded for its very rich sound, clarity of facility and wonderful sense of musical expression, CWS is one of the “pride-and-joys” of Metro Atlanta.  The band is comprised of adult musicians from all over the region. The group is under the capable leadership of co-founding members, Alfred L. Watkins (conductor), retired Director of Bands at Lassiter High School and Robert J. Cowles (assistant conductor), retired Director of Bands at Walton High School.  The band rehearses twice a month on Sundays at Lassiter High School and performs five major concerts per year in the beautiful 1,000-seat Lassiter Concert Hall.


CWS was created to provide a musical outlet for wind and percussion 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, a high degree of excellence and from the opportunity to serve the community through a lifelong love of music.


The group has grown from its initial 77 members to its current size of over 100, which includes musicians from all professions including current and former public school, university, military band directors, private teachers, education, medicine, law, engineering, management and technology. The band has performed for thousands of patrons on its local concert and has also performed at prestigious concert invitational events throughout the country.  The charter members include many Lassiter High School Band alumni and past students of co-founder, Alfred Watkins.  


The Cobb Wind Symphony performed its first “run- out" concert in the community on December 9, 2000 at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta and has performed at Marietta Square for their Fourth of July festivities.  Other performance highlights include:

  • The Midwest Clinic 2003, 2011, 2018

  • GMEA In-Service Conference 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2023

  • National Band Association / College Band Directors National Association Southern Division Conference 2006, 2008, 2018

  • UGA High School Band Festival (JanFest) 2004, 2010

  • International Euphonium and Tuba Symposium 2015


Previous guest conductors of the Cobb Wind Symphony include:  Dr. Harry Begian, Colonel Arnald Gabriel, Ray Cramer, Dr. David Gregory, Dr. Richard Clary, T.K. Adams, composers Mark Camphouse and David Holsinger, Dr. John N. Culvahouse, Andrew Cole, Ben Dubose and Michelle Rickard.


Guest soloists include:  Otis Murphy, Christopher Martin, Colin Williams, Cecil Welch, Adam Frey, James Gourlay, Brandon Jones, Julie Gerhardt, Carol Doemel, James Thompson, Jr., John Jeffrey, Kimberly Snyder, Steven Bontempi, Julie Welch and the late Fred Mills of the Canadian Brass.


In 2009, the Cobb Wind Symphony earned the prestigious Sudler Silver Scroll Award, which recognizes community bands that have 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.

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