The latest news and updates from Maidstone Wind Symphony.
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 £10 for adults, £8 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.
1 October 2017
Welcome to our new-look website! We hope you like the fresh new look and content. Please take a moment to take a look around the site and to share it far. Many thanks to Simon from Spectulise for his hard work getting the website launched.
1 August 2017
MWS will be holding its AGM in September, when we will be re-election the committee. We currently have vacancies for the positions of Fundraising Manager and Band-elected Trustee and are particularly keen for these roles to be filled, although all posts are available to apply for. Election is open to family, friends and supporters and we would welcome fresh ideas, energy and skills to continue to drive the band forward. For more detailed information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 June 2017
Maidstone Wind Symphony will be
rounding off its 2016/17 season with an Evening of Chamber Music on
Saturday, 1 July.
The concert will be an opportunity to hear many of the talented members of MWS performing in a more intimate setting - as soloists, duets, small ensembles and as a choir. It will also the final performance by our principal tuba player and current Maidstone Youth Musician of the Year George Harrington before he moves away and begins university.
The programme promises a lovely and entertaining blend of styles, genres and colour in the wonderful setting of the Salvation Army church hall in Union Street, Maidstone. Ensembles on the programme include a clarinet quartet, a flute choir and flute duo, euphonium group and various solo performers.
The concert will begin at 7.30pm. Admission is £5 (under 12s free) on the door.
1 February 2017
Thank you to all the wonderful musicians of Maidstone Wind Symphony for your dedication in preparation and performance for this recording, countless hours of fundraising and great playing! Special thanks to Vicky, Kathryn, Russell and Helen.
Personally I would like to thank Jonathan Crowhurst. Without him this recording simply wouldn’t have happened. Not only a fine conductor, Jonathan has a passion for new music, supporting commissions and recordings, coupled with imaginative and creative programming. The music world needs more JCs.
To have absolutely world-class soloists featured on this recording is no coincidence, with musical collaborations and friendships established between MWS, Jonathan, myself and the soloists over a number of years.
Andy Findon is Europe’s most recorded flute player, a leading London session player for many years, stalwart of the Michael Nyman Band and simply an astonishing musician. Featured on this recording playing Fujiko, Andy recorded in one complete take with MWS, displaying seemingly effortless control, nuance and musicality.
Steven Mead is a force of nature!A globe-trotting euphonium soloist and teacher with countless recordings, world premieres and publications to his name. Steven and MWS had collaborated prior to him recording my Concerto for Euphonium and Wind Band, and I know Steven via my work in the brass band world.
The three-movement concerto was originally a commission from Glyn Williams and Foden’s Band, and has been expertly arranged for wind band by Jonathan Crowhurst. Steve displays incredible technical agility in the outer movements coupled with absolutely masterful control and sensitivity in the slow movement.
Les Neish does nothing for my music sales, as very few tuba players can play anything that I write for him! He commissioned and gave the world premiers of Salt of the Earth with Foden’s Band at the RNCM Festival of Brass in 2008, and has performed the piece worldwide since. Arranged by Urs Bamert and edited by Jim Fieldhouse, Les displays supreme musicianship, musical dexterity and range of colours and effects.
Rex Richardson is one of the most virtuosic and versatile musicians that I know, and it was both a challenge and pleasure to write Freedom of Movement for him with wind band!
From reading and interpreting virtuosic notated music to improvising over complex harmonic structures, the sound worlds created and understanding of the different musical feels that are required demand an experience and musically open-minded soloist. Rex and I worked together on my piece Spirit of Mingus in 2012 and I love the fact that he displays what they don’t teach you at most music colleges or in books – feel and groove - and Rex has that in bucket loads!
Freedoom of Movement was composed in the summer of 2016, commissioned by Virginia Commonwealth University in the United States and composed for American trumpet soloist and jazz artist Rex Richardson. Available both for wind band and brass band.
Maidstone Wind Symphony performed wonderfully on the stand-alone band pieces on this disc, Madiba and Paquito, both as an ensemble and soloists with the band. I am fortunate that Jim Fieldhouse was able to expertly arrange these works, along with this beautiful arrangement of Fujiko.
Dave Rowell has captured the recorded sound superbly, and in addition has great ears when it comes to editing and mixing. Thanks Dave!
It took a lot of work from everyone involved making this recording, and we’re all proud to present it to you. We hope you enjoy listening to Roar!