The City Wind Orchestra is a community ensemble based in the City of London. Set up in 2009, membership is open to all woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. CWO is run by a committee of playing members and there is no formal audition. CWO give concerts usually three times a year and the repertoire is focused on original compositions for wind orchestra, often balanced with lighter, contrasting music. Since 2009 much of the European and American wind orchestra repertoire has been performed.
The CWO has performed over two hundred original works to date. This has included music from America, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Scandinavia, Spain, Russia and the United Kingdom.
Here is a selection of the important works for wind orchestra which have been performed to date:
Hugo Alvén Festival Overture, op.26, John Barnes Chance Elegy, David Bedford Ronde for Isolde, Judith Bingham Bright Spirit, Malcolm Binney Charivari, Frank Bridge The Pageant of London, Gary Carpenter Flying God Suite, Nigel Clarke Samurai, Aaron Copland Fanfare for the Common Man, Martin Ellerby Dona Nobis Pacem and Paris Sketches, Gabriel Fauré Chant Funéraire, Percy Fletcher Vanity Fair, John Golland Atmospheres, Adam Gorb Awayday, Percy Grainger Lincolnshire Posy, Edward Gregson Festivo and Piano Concerto, Samuel Hazo Fantasy on a Japanese Folk Song, Kenneth Hesketh Diaghilev Dances, Nigel Hess East Coast Pictures and Thames Journey, Alan Hovhaness Symphony No.23, op.249 ('Ani'), Gordon Jacob An Original Suite, Stuart Johnson Sinfonietta, Christopher Marshall Aue!, Felix Mendelssohn Overture für Harmoniemusik op.24, Peter Mennin Canzona, Darius Milhaud Suite Française op. 248, Alfred Reed A Festive Overture and Armenian Dances, Ottorino Respigi Huntingtower, Camille Saint-Saëns Orient et Occident op.25, Philip Sparke Between Two Rivers, Igor Stravinsky Circus Polka, Frank Ticheli Sun Dance, Toch Spiel for wind orchestra op.39, Vaughan Williams English Folk Song Suite, Guy Woolfenden Gallimaufry and Illyrian Dances and John Zdechlik Celebrations and Romance for Band.
Former Musical Director Shea Lolin is a tireless advocate of Gustav Holst. In 2012 he curated an exhibition at Morley College, London: ‘The Complete Wind Music of Gustav Holst’. The material from the exhibition formed a new publication in April 2015. The City Wind Orchestra have performed all of Holst’s scores for wind orchestra both published and unpublished.
The City Wind Orchestra meets on Monday evenings during term time at Exmouth Market Church Hall, London EX1R 4QE. Attendance at a trial rehearsal is by invitation only (please do not just turn up). Membership is on a subscription basis.
There are currently vacancies for all instruments other than flutes. Please contact us if you are interested in joining.
Please do still contact us if you are a flautist and we will add you to the waiting list.
There is no formal audition for the orchestra but each new member is given one term to prove themselves worthy of the group and its repertoire. Emphasis will not necessarily be on technical facility but rather an overall picture of ability including commitment to weekly rehearsals. If you would like to join the ensemble, please visit the contact page for details.
The City Wind Orchestra is a committee run group who work in partnership with the Musical Director to help with the business side of running the orchestra. The current committee members are: Jennifer Ashford, Alex Benstead, Jenny Brand, Becs Jarvis, Craig Maxwell & Robert Merry.