The North Georgia Winds is a longtime dream of its founder Richard Irby.  Richard started this ensemble for a group of adults who are passionate about music and passionate about enjoying the journey that will take them from practice to performance.



Richard Irby is the Founder and CEO of the North Georgia Winds Organization. Mr. Irby currently works as Division Manager of Band and Orchestra for Ken Stanton Music based in the North Georgia area. Since his start in the music retail world in 1996, Mr. Irby has been supporting music education by making sure that educators had the tools they needed to keep their passion for teaching alive. Mr. Irby is a product of the Valdosta City School System and Valdosta State University. It is with these Institutions that Richard got his start in music and was able to perform around the country while studying music and practicing his instrument.

This ensemble is a culmination of an idea that Mr. Irby put together many years ago. Timing, location and the right conductor finally fell into place allowing a dream to become a reality.  After many hours of planning and the support of his wife Amanda, North Georgia Winds has started its musical journey.  

Mr. Irby’s affiliations are Phi Mu Alpha Fraternity, the National Association for Music Education, and the Georgia Music Educators Association. Georgia is the lifelong home for both Richard and Amanda so it was only fitting to make this group a part of their community.



Dr. Jaclyn Hartenberger joins the NGW as its first Conductor.  Dr. Hartenberger serves as the Associate Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Georgia. In addition to serving as the conductor for the Wind Symphony, she teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting. Dr. Hartenberger received a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to her graduate degree work, she served as a middle school and high school band director in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex for distinguished music programs. Dr. Hartenberger received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas, where she performed and recorded with the prestigious UNT Wind Symphony.

Dr. Hartenberger performs frequently world wide stretching from South America to the Czech Republic. She is grateful to call Georgia her home knowing that music education is a priority in the public schools. Her professional affiliations are College Band Directors National Association, Georgia Music Educators, and National Association for Music Education.