The latest news and updates from Maidstone Wind Symphony.
5 April 2019
This season we are celebrating 20 years of Maidstone Wind Symphony.
The band was founded as Maidstone Winds by Brendon Le Page in 2008 and held its first concert at The Corn Exchange, Maidstone, in October.
Over the past two decades under the direction of Brendon, Jeremy Cooper and current music director Jonathan Crowhurst, the orchestra has established itself as one of the UK’s leading amateur wind ensembles.
The orchestra has
been led by Jonathan since 2010 when it changed its name to Maidstone Wind
Symphony. In 2015 it became only the second wind
orchestra to win the National Concert Band Symposium with its performance of
John Mackey's Wine-Dark Sea Symphony for
In 2017 the band released a new recording, Roar!, featuring the wind music of award-winning composer Andy Scott. The disc features collaborations with special guest artists Rex Richardson (trumpet), Steven Mead (euphonium), Les Neish (tuba) and Andy Findon (flute). This Christmas sees the release of our festive EP, A Christmas Festival.
Maidstone Wind Symphony is a dedicated advocate of contemporary composers and regularly gives premiere performances. It is renowned for its highly-acclaimed interpretations of wind band music with repertoire ranging from traditional and popular classics through to contemporary band masterpieces.
The orchestra also regularly engages some of the world’s finest woodwind and brass soloists and is proud to have collaborated with a wide range of wind bands, brass bands and choirs over the years. Alongside regular concert performances, the orchestra presents inspirational workshops with its guest soloists.
Thank you to audiences past, present and future for
your support of music making in Maidstone. Here’s to the next 20 years!
20th Anniversary Concert
Our 20th anniversary season will reach its climax with a concert featuring some of our most popular ever repertoire in the company of our music directors past and present.
The concert on Saturday, 29 June at All Saints’ Church, Maidstone, will be a chance for players past and present to come together and celebrate two decades of top-class music making with MWS.
The concert begins at 7.30pm. We will be holding a pre-concert reception for members past and present. Former members interested in attending the reception and concert can email email@example.com
13 February 2019
MWS is delighted, once again, to be invited to headline at Maidstone Proms in the Park on 25 May 2019 at Whatman Millennium River Park, an unforgettable day of FREE outdoor musical entertainment at the purpose-built Millennium Park Riverstage and arena.
Though considered an expansion of Last Night of the Proms (arguably the most famous of all classical music festivals), Proms in the Park actually has its origins in the 18th Century 'promenade concerts'. These were a regular feature in London’s public gardens and so called because of the informal atmosphere, at which eating, drinking and promenading were permitted.
Sir Henry Wood, the conductor most associated with The Proms, established the repertoire for the Last Night of the Proms that continues to this day: Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory, and Jerusalem.
The party atmosphere was largely at the encouragement of the colourful Sir Malcolm Sargent, who first conducted the Proms in 1947. He grasped a prescient opportunity to enliven already raucous audiences emboldened by post-war victory to create a sense of triumphalist celebration, the hallmark of all Last Night of the Proms performances ever since.
Modern Last Night of the Proms audiences continue the tradition, resplendent in outlandish costumes, singing passionately (even though they might not know the words!), firing cannons of streamers, blowing penny-whistles, and sounding quacking ducks in a high-spirited celebration of patriotic pride.
The Proms is now an integral part of the British festive social fabric, indelibly lodged in the national consciousness. And such is the expectation when MWS takes the stage, to
–initially perform a number of specially commissioned contemporary arrangements from popular film and theatre (including, among others, The Greatest Showman, The Wiz, Mary Poppins, and The Wizard of Oz) and then
–finish with rousing performances of the Henry Wood Proms classics …in which singing, flag-waving, duck quacking and high spirits are encouraged if not mandated!
In keeping with MWS philosophy, we’re committed to delivering not merely a concert but a memorable spectacle, an interactive celebration of life and music both for the audience and (more importantly) with the audience. We look forward to you joining us in the revelry and merriment!
For more information on the Maidstone Proms in the Park, please see Visit Maidstone's website.
Written by Russell Joyce, Chairman
13 February 2019
Alongside preparing some exciting repertoire for the Festival of Wind and Brass concert on Easter Saturday with Matilda Lloyd, members of MWS are also busy rehearsing for solo and small ensemble performances at our annual Evening of Chamber Music.
This concert has been hugely well received by audience members over the last two years. It's a chance to hear some of the talented musicians from within the band in a more intimate setting. We do hope you'll be able to join us.
Tickets are Ł10 for adults, Ł8 concessions and free for under 12s and season ticket holders. Buy tickets now.
13 February 2019
ATTENTION ALL BRASS AND PERCUSSION PLAYERS!
Maidstone Wind Symphony is keen to recruit new brass and percussion players to complete our wonderful band.
We are blessed with some very talented players across our brass and percussion sections, but we would love to recruit some additional members to join them. We also have a vacancy for a string bass player.
Find out more about becoming a member in the Join Us section.
15 December 2018
We are excited to announce the release of our seasonal EP, A Christmas Festival.
In celebration of our 20th anniversary, MWS has released this wonderful and contrasting EP of seasonal music.
Under the direction of Jonathan Crowhurst, the orchestra performs two of the most popular staples of the festive wind band repertoire alongside two more reflective pieces.
The recording was made by Dave Rowell at the Salvation Army hall in Maidstone in October 2018 as part of the band's 20th anniversary season celebrations.
It is our third recording. In 2017 we released Roar!, featuring the wind music of award-winning composer Andy Scott. The disc features collaborations with special guest artists Rex Richardson (trumpet), Steven Mead (euphonium), Les Neish(tuba) and Andy Findon (flute).
It followed our first professional recording Slide Projections, featuring trombonist Brett Baker and released in 2012.
The EP is available via digital download only through popular download sites including Amazon Music, Spotify and iTunes.
Sleigh Ride | Leroy Anderson
The Huron Carol | Canadian trad, Andrew Wainwright
A Christmas Festival |Leroy Anderson
O Magnum Mysterium | Morton Lauridsen
5 December 2017
There's been much cause for celebration for MWS members past and present over the last week or two.
Oboist Sam Willsmore has been offered a place at the Guildhall School of Music for next year while alumni and regular guest trumpet player Emily Bristow has won a place in the semi final of the Trinity Laban Soloists Competition.
Several members of MWS also took part in the Maidstone Music Festival at the weekend, including our youngest member, trumpeter Joseph Pickard, who picked up three first places plus some distinctions and a lot of bling along the way! Joseph has also just been offered a place at the Trinity Junior Conservatoire.
And finally, huge congratulations from everyone at MWS to euphonium player Phil Neeve and his wife Penny on the birth of their beautiful daughter Alice.