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The latest news and updates from Maidstone Wind Symphony.

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  • Music Director Vacancy

    11 September 2019

    Following the resignation of Jonathan Crowhurst, MWS is seeking a new Music Director. 

    The Committee is inviting expressions of interest an applications from prospective candidates who believe they are the right person to take up the baton and ensure MWS continues to develop its unique position, to pursue excellence, and to perform the innovative repertoire beloved of its musicians and audiences.

    Potential candidates must be able to demonstrate:

    • strong leadership skills, tenacity, and dependability
    • a mastery of technical musical skills and knowledge required to lead and conduct an award-wining wind ensemble
    • a strong strategist and visionary able to continue the development of an already hugely successful, award winning ensemble widely renowned for excellence
    • a deep understanding and experience of current musical trends and innovative wind ensemble repertoire
    • artistic vision and creative direction, including well-developed judgment, imagination, and instincts for musical interpretation
    • a commitment to crafting and delivering high-quality performances with a sense of occasion
    • a willingness to connect and collaborate with professional musicians for performances, recordings and educational opportunities
    • an ability to translate musical passion into well-coordinated programmes that appeal to MWS musicians and audiences alike whilst expanding the musical palate
    • a charismatic “podium presence” and sense of humour

    Potential candidates should apply in the first instance to chair@maidstonewindsymphony.org before the closing date of Friday, 19 October 2019. Please include a covering letter and CV with your application/expression of interest.  Interviews and auditions with shortlisted candidates will take place during November/December 2019.

    We look forward to hearing from you.

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  • A Message from our Chairman, Russell Joyce

    A Message from our Chairman, Russell Joyce

    11 September 2019

    It is with great sadness that MWS announces the resignation of its Music Director, Jonathon Crowhurst.

    One of the UK’s foremost wind orchestra directors, Jonathan has been an indefatigable force driving MWS forward to musical excellence so that it is now an award-winning ensemble with a rich history of collaborations (performances and recordings) with internationally-renowned musicians and composers.

    Throughout his tenure, Jonathan has delivered passion, energy, enthusiasm, and unrivalled opportunities for all at MWS. The ensemble has been privileged to benefit from his extensive network of professional contacts, all of whom have been keen to work with MWS and to inspire its musicians and audiences. This is particularly true for the many young, gifted musicians at MWS whom Jonathan (as a keen educator) has positively encouraged to realise their musical ambitions.

    Jonathan’s insatiable desire for - and commitment to - innovative wind ensemble repertoire has done much to foster a wider interest in the genre and to make it more accessible. This he has achieved through a combination of his unrivalled musical knowledge, understanding, and expertise with his exceptional ability to craft for his audiences performances that are resplendent and memorable for their theatricality, drama, and intensity.

    We are hugely indebted to Jonathan for all this and so much more: we shall certainly miss his uniquely individual charisma and his highly-distinctive brand of humour.

    Our profound, heartfelt thanks to Jonathan for everything he has done for us individually and collectively; we wish him the utmost success in his future endeavours.

    In his parting message to the band, Jonathan said: “For the last eight to nine years some of my proudest moments have come via the baton conducting MWS. The many wonderful and memorable performances and concerts, the new music, the recordings, the fantastic soloists and probably the most important of all, watching the development of its members both young, old and older. What more could a conductor ask? It has been quite an adventure.”

    We have now begun the recruitment process for our fourth Music Director. Our concert dates for the 2019/20 season are unaffected, with our principal oboe and budding young conductor Sam Willsmore taking up the baton for our season-opening concert on Thursday, 24 October.

    For more information about the Music Director position or for an informal discussion please email Russell Joyce chair@maidstonewindsymphony.org

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  • Celebrating 20 years of MWS

    5 April 2019

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    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 Band.

    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 ssecretary@maidstonewindsymphony.org

    10th_annivesary_group

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  • A welcome return to Proms in the Park

    A welcome return to Proms in the Park

    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

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  • An Evening of Chamber Music

    An Evening of Chamber Music

    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

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  • We are recruiting!

    We are recruiting!

    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.

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Maidstone Wind Symphony

Registered Charity no. 1156003

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