A LEIGH-based woodwind ensemble is making a call out for new members.
The Southend Wind Orchestra (SWO) has been performing regularly and rehearsing weekly for over 20 years, and are beginning 2024 with an open rehearsal to encourage new players to join.
Amie Cox, SWO Secretary, said: “We consist exclusively of woodwind instruments – something that makes us very unusual, there are very few such groups around the world!
SWO typically includes flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons and saxophones, all of varying sizes.
Ms Cox continued: “We all play to a very high standard, with a minimum entry requirement of grade 6 (although many members have grade 8) and we are always looking for new members.”
The Orchestra are holding their open rehearsal on February 4, to which players are warmly invited.
She adds: “There is only a very limited off-the-shelf repertoire of original music written especially for this type of ensemble.
“As a result, much of our repertoire includes pieces that have been arranged for us by our Musical Director, David Clark and the upcoming open rehearsal is no exception.”
There are no auditions – a love of music and the desire to learn and improve are all that is required, together with a commitment to practise and to attend regularly at the groups’ weekly Wednesday rehearsals.
These take place at Leigh Wesley Methodist Church in Elm Road from 7.45 to 9.45pm during term time.
Current members come from all over Essex, with an age-range encompassing students through to senior citizens.
Concerts at a variety of venues including bandstands are a regular feature of the ensemble’s activities.
Most recently, they performed a Christmas concert in aid of Southend Neonatal Unit and a concert in aid of Remembrance Day. They have many concerts planned for 2024.
If you would like to know more, please go to: southendwinds.org.
Picture: The ensemble playing in Priory Park
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