So when Miller, who retired from teaching music in the Shenendehowa school district, announced a few years ago that he was moving to Florida, members were determined to keep the wind ensemble going despite his absence.
"Everyone in the group was having a great time," Wery said. "We're all great friends."
Miller tapped Wery to take over as music director and conductor. The two keep in regular touch via e-mail, and Wery never hesitates to bounce ideas and brainstorms off Miller.
"He's still connected to the group in a meaningful way," Wery said.
Because of Wery's affiliation with SCCC, the group was able to start practicing there, and it's now SCCC's wind ensemble in residence. It puts on three shows a year; the first features a smaller group of only about a dozen musicians, the second incorporates high school students, and the third, which is what Sunday's show will be, tends to be a little "lighter," according to Wery. That means that in addition to the deeper literature pieces, there are some tunes that the audience should recognize.
"We're always going to have music that's familiar," Wery said.
The ensemble stages only three practices per concert, which Wery said is possible because of the passion they have for their craft.
"They're doing this out of the love for the music," he said. "I can trust them to come really prepared."
As for the audience, Wery just asks that people come to the concerts with an open mind.
"I've had a lot of people tell me, 'I didn't think I was going to like that kind of music,'" he said. But the ensemble surprises them by putting on an "informative, highly entertaining show," he said.
"It's just a thrilling sound," he said. "It's so athletic to hear it go down. You can really see individuals making it happen."
Tickets for Sunday's show are $8 for adults and $6 for students.""