Our mission is the preservation of, education about, and performance of traditional circus music as it was played in the Golden Era of the American circus. Windjammers Unlimited, Inc. (“WJU”) is a 501(c)3 circus music historical society in the education category.
Founded in 1971
Our organization will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021. Since 1973, we have been fulfilling our mission by holding consecutive Annual Conventions and Summer Meets. At each event, WJU members perform public concerts, play and record 60—70 tunes, and periodically host educational seminars for school music instructors, members and others. Further, we are collecting and digitizing circus music, becoming the repository and “lending library” for our members. Our 2021 through 2023 events should prove to be more exciting than ever.
Windjammers Unlimited currently publishes Circus Fanfare for members six times a year. The magazine averages 28 pages per issue and is intended to be a historical journal covering informative topics related to circus bands, their music, bandmasters and musicians.
In addition, each issue includes more current information on the organization’s activities in accomplishing its mission. It is available to all Members in good standing in either print format (black & white with color outer wrap) or emailed as a PDF (color throughout).
About Our Name
Because circus musicians spent their days “jamming wind through their horns”, they were known to others in the circus as “windjammers.” And play they did. Typically, their day started with a circus parade announcing the circus’s arrival to town. Next up was a Center Ring Concert the hour prior to the start of the afternoon performance and then playing for the two to three-hour performance itself. That evening, they did a repeat of the afternoon’s program. As the saying goes in the circus, “If the Ringmaster isn’t talking, the band is surely playing.”