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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformancePerformance(Moderator: BGuttman) Prestigious wind ensembles...are there any?
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Jeff Smith
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« on: Apr 26, 2006, 10:56AM »

So I know almost every big city in the world has a symphony, but I was wondering if there were any prestigious wind ensembles out there like that.

Imagine a "New York Wind Symphony."

Personally I like wind ensembles more than orchestras, just because of the music. Some of those chords just move me. Not so much with an orchestra. At least not that I've experienced or heard.
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 26, 2006, 11:55AM »

There are two professional wind ensembles that I know of, the Dallas Wind Symphony and the Tokyo Kosei Wind Ensemble. I've got a pretty good bunch of cds from both of them- you can get them from the DWS web site, and Hickey's seems to carry a nice selection of TKWE cds. Alfred Reed conducted the Tokyo Kosei fairly often, I believe, and made several recordings of his own music with them, as well as the music of others.

Additionally, the Eastman Wind Ensemble made a bucketload of recordings with Frederick Fennell, although they're from the Eastman School of Music, and not professional in a "getting paid to play" sense. They're still really darn good. Between them, Dallas, and Tokyo, they've pretty much got the standard wind ensemble repertoire covered in recording.

I've got a cd by the "Cleveland Symphonic Winds" that (rather unhelpfully) doesn't say who exactly the Cleveland Symphonic Winds Are. But there are other college groups around who are very good, and (naturally) scads more who are good but not on that level.

There are some brass bands around too, like the River City Brass in Pittsburgh, but that's something of a different animal again.
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 26, 2006, 05:16PM »

Don't forget military bands - also professional.

In Australia the only professional wind ensembles are military bands.  

The ensemble I play in, the Queensland Wind Orchestra, is on the way up there too.  Our biggest challenge is getting public interest and audience attendance - our population centres are a bit smaller than in the US.

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Francis
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Jeff Smith
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 26, 2006, 05:24PM »

I hadn't forgotten military bands, I just wanted to know if there were any independant wind ensembles.

I'll have to check into that Dallas Wind Symphony.

I wonder why there aren't more wind ensembles. The music is usually good. Is there not a market?
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 26, 2006, 05:30PM »

There is Keith Brion's New Sousa Band.

There are some bands that get assembled for a brief tour and then disband.  

The Goldman Band used to be a full-time ensemble, but now they only play concerts in the parks in New York City using local pros.

The Allentown Band is a community ensemble that has been playing since the 1830's.  They have a heritage of ex-Sousa Band players retiring and joining the band, so they have a great deal of Sousa information.
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« Reply #5 on: Apr 26, 2006, 05:39PM »

I've heard some good recordings from the Wind Section of the Birmingham Sympony (England, not Alabama ;-))
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« Reply #6 on: Apr 27, 2006, 12:26AM »

Although we do not have the same tradition of wind ensembles in education that is found in the states there are some pretty good groups in the UK.  The best of the military bands produce a very high standard, and at present are involved in some quite prestigious recordings of new repertoire.  Amongst the best at the moment are the RAF Central Band and my old band, the Coldstream Guards, whilst the Royal Marines have produced a couple of fine recordings lately, bringing together the best players from several bands to do so.

We also have the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Ensemble, who have pioneered a number of new compositions and produced some excellent recordings.
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 27, 2006, 06:43AM »

The Goldman Band folded last year.


The Cleveland Symphonic Winds was pretty much the wind & brass sections of the Cleveland Orchestra.
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« Reply #8 on: Apr 27, 2006, 07:41PM »

Quote from: "BGuttman"
There is Keith Brion's New Sousa Band.
Is that a full-time ensemble?

There's a guy here in Orange County, California that has some ambitions in this area. He's a great fan Frederick Fennell (I think he played for him at some point) and talks about creating a world-class group. He has money, ambition, and contacts, so he might just succeed.
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« Reply #9 on: Apr 28, 2006, 01:01AM »

Here in the Netherlands, wind orchestras are very popular and reach very high levels. The Dutch Marine Band is a very fine band, actually, all the orchestras of the Dutch army are fine orchestras. I play in the Dutch National Youth Wind Orchestra, also a great orchestra. So if you want to hear a lot of good (even amateur) wind ensembles, just visit Holland ;-)
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