The Dallas Wind Symphony was founded in 1985 by Kim Campbell and Howard Dunn. Campbell, a trombonist, has served as executive director since the ensemble's founding, and Dunn was the first conductor of the DWS. From 1990, the DWS has played concerts in the Meyerson Symphony Center.
Dunn died in 1991, the year the DWS made its first recording. Jerry Junkin was named Dunn's successor in 1993 and still serves as the DWS conductor. From the mid-'90s until his death in 2004, Frederick Fennell, well known from many wind ensemble recordings on Mercury Records and Decca, was the DWS's principal guest conductor. Among the earlier recordings of the DWS was Trittico (1993) on RR and a Fennell-led album containing works by Nelhybel, Dello Joio, Grieg, and Giannini that was nominated for a Grammy. Campbell served as associate producer on that production and for 12 others on RR through 2009.
In 2001 David Kehler was named associate conductor of the DWS and remains in that capacity. The DWS still utilizes prominent guest conductors, like British conductor Timothy Reynish, who led the 2008-2009 season finale, entitled Song & Dance, on April 8, 2009.