Blue Lake International Northern Winds

The 2021 Blue Lake International Northern Winds is comprised of the instrumentation found in a traditional symphonic wind ensemble, with woodwind, brass, and percussion sections. The group's repertoire will range from traditional American symphonic literature to orchestral transcriptions and classic marches, such as Sousa's Stars & Stripes Forever.

Each of the groups in the Blue Lake International Exchange Program will visit five to seven towns (hosting communities) in Europe. Tentative countries for the 2021 International Northern Winds are Germany, Denmark, and Belgium.

2021 International Northern Winds
Dr. Matthew Westgate , Musical Director

Brian BalchDr. Matthew Westgate is the Director of Wind Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, MA) where he conducts the Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting. Dr. Westgate is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and classical and jazz trombonist. In 2017-2018, he guest conducted both the United States Marine Band “The President’s Own” and the U.S. Coast Guard Chamber Players. The UMass Wind Ensemble, under his direction, has performed at multiple regional College Band Director National Association conferences, at numerous public schools all over New England, and on an international concert tour of Ireland (2017). Prior to teaching in Massachusetts, Dr. Westgate was the Director of Instrumental Studies at Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH) where he led the symphonic winds, chamber orchestra, pep bands, and jazz ensemble. In 2014, his Xavier ensembles performed in multiple cities on a concert tour of Germany, Austria, and Czech Republic. A passionate advocate for wind music, old and new, Dr. Westgate recently recorded Frank Martin: Music for Winds with the Massachusetts Chamber Players for MSR Classics in fall of 2017. Another CD, featuring the UMass Wind Ensemble and guest soloists performing three newly commissioned works, entitled Quicksilver, will be released in fall 2019. In his spare time, Matthew is an avid ultra-marathon and marathon runner and hiker. He is married to Erica Drake, a percussionist and teacher, and together they have a precocious daughter named Juniper. Dr. Westgate has enjoyed sixteen summers at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in various capacities: cabin counselor, international counselor, jazz band director, and conductor of the Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band. This will be his second tour with the Blue Lake Northern Winds.