Gail A. Brechting, Conductor & Musical Director

Gail A. Brechting, Conductor & Musical Director
West Michigan Concert Winds

Gail Brechting is in her twenty-seventh year as the conductor of the award-winning West Michigan Concert WINDS.   Under her direction, the WINDS received the John Phillip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Silver Scroll Award, America’s most prestigious community concert band award. She has organized five international tours with the WINDS, with a 2024 Scotland/Ireland tour being planned. She has had the privilege of conducting the WINDS in Chicago’s Symphony Hall, as well as the historic Carnegie Hall in New York City. Before becoming conductor, Mrs. Brechting was principal trombone with the WINDS and performed with many area music ensembles including the Traverse City Symphony, the Lansing Concert Band, The Lake Effect Brass, and the West Shore Symphony. In addition, is a soprano vocal soloist in West Michigan.

From 1996-1999 Mrs. Brechting represented MSBOA as the State Representative for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival. For forty years, she has been an active district and state level adjudicator for low brass, band and orchestras as well as teaching private trombone, euphonium and tuba lessons to students of all ages.

She has been the guest conductor with the Acadia Winds in Louisiana, Hot Springs Community Band in Arkansas, was the featured conductor with the Louisiana Middle School Honors Band, and she served as guest clinician and conductor with the Winter Park High School in Florida. She is the 2019 & 2022 recipient of the Harry Begian Conductor Scholar award, through Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

Mrs. Brechting is presently the  Past President of the Association of Concert Bands, also serving two previous terms on the board of directors. She has recently been named the Lifelong Arts Program Director with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. She is a member of the National Band Association, an Associate Member of the American Bandmasters Association, the College Band Directors Association, an Emeritus member of Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, P.E.O. and the Women Band Directors Association. She is the first woman selected by the John Philip Sousa Foundation to serve on the Sudler Silver Scroll Award selection committee and was recently appointed the chairwomen of this committee.  She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central Michigan University and a Master of Arts degree from West Michigan University. Mrs. Brechting is a former music faculty of Muskegon Community College and retired in 2019, after a 40-year public school music education career, 34 of those with the Reeths-Puffer Schools in Muskegon, MI. In her spare time, she trains and competes as a US Masters swimmer, recently attaining two gold and silver medals.

Mrs. Brechting lives in Spring Lake with her engineer/pianist husband Frank. Their daughter Annelise is a Physician Assistant in Greenville, SC. 

WINDS Conductors

 Fall 1996 - present
Gail A. Brechting

 Fall 1985 - Spring 1996
Donald A. Miller

 1979 - 1985
Dennis L. Emmons