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The latest news and updates from Maidstone Wind Symphony.

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  • Introducing our new Music Director

    13 January 2020

    roger_graham

    Maidstone Wind Symphony is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Music Director, Roger Graham.

    Roger was born and brought up in Gravesend and started to learn the tuba at the age of 13. After two years of lessons, he gained a place at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and shortly after became the principal tuba player of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

    He trained at the Guildhall School of Music under James Anderson and John Fletcher. After leaving the Guildhall he worked as a London-based freelance musician with some of the London orchestras, film orchestras and West End shows.

    His interest in wind bands was kick-started when he began working for a music publisher specialising in concert band repertoire. When the conductor of his local band was taken ill, Roger stepped up and took the rehearsal; the reaction from the musicians was so positive that he decided to take up conducting. Since then he has been a guest conductor for a number of bands and ensembles in the South East, combining this with his playing commitments.

    Roger said: “I cannot put into words how delighted I am to have been offered the position of Music Director with Maidstone Wind Symphony. I realise that with this opportunity comes the huge responsibility of maintaining the momentum and levels reached by the band under the previous MD Jonathan Crowhurst.

    “As I enter this new musical collaboration with these wonderful musicians, I am sure we will drive forward and continue to develop as an ensemble. We will continue to tackle some challenging landmark concert band pieces. We will also look to form connections with highly-talented composers and seek to perform some of the newest and most exciting repertoire. Most importantly, I am sure we will have some fun!”

    Maidstone Wind Symphony President Dan Daley said: “I am delighted as President of this excellent ensemble to welcome the arrival of Roger Graham to fill this important role, and am looking forward to a long and productive journey together along what I am sure will be an interesting musical highway.”

    Roger is Maidstone Wind Symphony’s fourth music director. He succeeds Jonathan Crowhurst, who stood down from the role at the end of the band’s 20th anniversary season. His first performance with the baton will be at our gala concert A Journey to the Stars: A Festival of Youth at Mote Hall, Maidstone, on Saturday, 28 March. 

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  • Gaudete! Concert foreword by Sam Willsmore

    Gaudete! Concert foreword by Sam Willsmore

    9 December 2019

    Our interim music director Sam Willsmore explains his approach to programming this year's Christmas concert

    When I was tasked to create the programme for this concert, I knew I didn't want it to be a traditional 'Christmas Concert', so I started by trying to find a suitable theme.

    One difficulty when creating a Christmas programme is finding the balance between pieces that both develop and display the ability of the ensemble whilst also performing well-loved festive favourites. I split the programme thematically into two broad halves, the ‘colder’ less festive half with a view to develop and demonstrate our abilities whilst also celebrating the winter season, characterised by music which is less familiar. The second half is the ‘warmer’ part of the concert and features music more associated with Christmas, which most should know and love.

    Our programme presents a wide variety of music from the celebration of a single moment in time with Hymn to a Blue Hour to two different Sleigh Rides and a potential third if you applaud enough!

    https://www.maidstonewindsymphony.org/event-celebration_of_christmas.html

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  • Supporting Time for the Homeless this Christmas

    29 November 2019

    boxestime_for_the_homelesstfthallsaints

    MWS is going to be supporting Time for the Homeless this Christmas. 

    Members of the band and audience members at our Christmas concert are being encouraged to donate shoe box gift boxes for the organisation's volunteers to give out to the homeless and vulnerable after their Christmas dinner. 

    We have seen for ourselves the great work that the volunteers do running a soup kitchen beside All Saints Church in Maidstone, where our concert is being held. They also support people across Medway and Swale with food and other items, plus support and advice. 

    They are particularly looking for donations for men, but ladies' ones are also gratefully received. Here is a few ideas of what items to put In the boxes. These are just ideas and you don't need to include all of the suggested items:

    MEN: comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shower gel, socks, gloves, hat, chocolates, sweets or biscuits, playing cards, colouring book, pencils, hand warmers. 

    LADIES: Brush, hair bobbles, toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary items, socks, hat, gloves, sweets, chocolates, biscuits, colouring book, pencils, word search . 

    If you are coming along to Gaudete! A Celebration of Christmas on Sunday, 15 December, please consider bringing along a shoe box, or items to contribute towards boxes that we will then make up. For more information about TimeForTheHomeless see their Facebook page

    Thank you for your support.  

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  • AGM 2019 - Election of committee and trustees

    9 October 2019

    We are pleased to announce the appointment of the following members of the MWS management committee following our AGM:

    Executive Committee/Trustees

    • Russell Joyce - Chair
    • Sarah Wimsett - Deputy Chair
    • Kathryn Lakeland - Treasurer
    • Heather Pickard - Secretary
    • Breandan Knowlton - Band-elected/nominated trustee

    Committee

    • John Bessell - Librarian
    • Sara Wallis - Transport Manager
    • Allen Ince - Assistant Transport Manager
    • Magdalene Joyce - Band Development Officer

    Vacant Positions

    We have a number of vacant posts on the committee and would welcome expressions of interest and applications for the following positions. New members can be co-opted at any time during the year.

    • Concerts Manager
    • Publicity and Marketing Manager
    • Social Co-ordinator
    • Fundraising Manager

    If you are interested in any of these positions, please email chair@maidstonewindsymphony.org for an informal discussion and more information.

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  • Music Director Vacancy

    11 September 2019

    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, collaboratively designed programmes that appeal to MWS musicians and audiences alike whilst expanding the musical palate
    • a commitment to promoting and supporting youth music and development, especially for the young musicians within the ensemble
    • 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 Saturday 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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Maidstone Wind Symphony

Registered Charity no. 1156003

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