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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

     mws20_port_logoimg_2281

    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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  • A Christmas Festival EP launched

    A Christmas Festival EP launched

    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.

    Track list

    Sleigh Ride | Leroy Anderson

    The Huron Carol | Canadian trad, Andrew Wainwright

    A Christmas Festival |Leroy Anderson

    O Magnum Mysterium | Morton Lauridsen

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  • Celebrating success

    Celebrating success

    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.

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  • New-look website

    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.

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  • AGM and Committee Elections

    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 secretary@maidstonewindsymphony.org.

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  • An Evening of Chamber Music

    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 Ł5 (under 12s free) on the door.

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  • Composer Andy Scott on the making of Roar!

    Composer Andy Scott on the making of Roar!

    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!

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  • Music Director Jonathan Crowhurst on the release of Roar!

    Music Director Jonathan Crowhurst on the release of Roar!

    1 February 2017

    When one talks about composers in the present age, there are few one can describe as having a truly unique and individual voice – Andy Scott is an exception.

    Since exploring his world Dark Rain back in 2012, it has been a fantastic journey for myself and Maidstone Wind Symphony to play such wonderful and varied music. Every work, from Madiba to Salt of the Earth, from Fujiko to Freedom of Movement, has a unique style and yet a conscious stream which makes the music very much Andy’s . He has been an inspiration to collaborate with on this project, which has been five years in the making.

    To work with the calibre of soloists on this disc has been a huge privilege and I want to thank them, Andy, Dave our fantastic engineer, and of course the band for all their magnificent work during those sessions back in October. On behalf of MWS, our thanks must go to everyone who mad this journey possible; all the donors, committees, venues – we are indebted to you.

    I would also like to pay special tribute to our President Dan Daley who has been supportive beyond measure during my tenure with the band. If anyone encapsulates the spirit of MWS it is him. We will never be able to repay his endless generosity,

    Finally, thank you to you for making this journey with us. Putting something new into the world is what making music is all about so I hope you enjoy it; every track has something different and we are all immensely proud of it. Thank you for listening.

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Maidstone Wind Symphony

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