Yorkshire Wind Orchestra

2008 Events

A Dickensian Christmas

6th December 2008

Dickensian Christmas stall

Clayton Dickensian Market

A decidedly cold and icy December day may not be the best time to spend 7 hours stood still outdoors, but with Christmas on its way and hoards of shoppers desparate to find the ideal gift for Christmas, who could turn down the chance to dress up for Clayton's Dickensian Christmas Market?

Although it was bitterly cold, the still air and bright sun brought out a good number of people from the outset, giving the orchestra a chance to raise some desparately needed finances for next year. Christmas cards, cuddly toys, picture frames, musical ornaments and clocks were all snapped up in the hurry to hunt out a bargain.

Orchestra players busking Orchestra players busking

Christmas busking in Clayton

It wasn't long before our core of dedicated musicians joined rank to bring some festive cheer to the proceedings with a colourful selection of Christmas tunes and carols, skillfully adapted to fit the ensemble of the day.

After the first busking slot, players had chance to track down the real Santa, who was happily handing out sweets to all the good children. For the rest of us, a welcomed bottle of port fortified our resolve to overcome frozen fingers and play some more enjoyable Christmas music before the sun set over an enjoyable day and the crowds went home.

Yorkshire Playday 2008 and Concert of Winds

1st November 2008

Yorkshire Playday orchestra

Yorkshire Playday 2008

The first Yorkshire Playday held at Bradford Grammar School on Saturday 1st November 2008 was a full day of music making for a large number of musicians from across Yorkshire. Players were greeted with a welcome pack of information and freebies, including notepads and pencils from MusicTag, the musical instrument register and a complimentary Starbucks coffee to take off the November morning chill.

Once everyone was signed in, Keiron Anderson started off the morning with a play-through of Percy Grainger's Shepherd's Hey and his Irish Tune from County Derry to get everyone warmed up and established in the full 50+ strong wind orchestra.

Yorkshire Playday sectional

Flute sectional

Next, the YWO's section principals took charge of introducing the day's main piece, Sun Paints Rainbows on the Vast Waves by David Bedford, through an hour's set of sectionals. We are very fortunate that Bradford Council's Bradford West Community Chest awarded us a grant towards the purchase of two new pieces of music for the Yorkshire Playday.

This gave plenty food for thought over lunch as players had a chance to discuss their early progress with each other before reconvening for the first run-through en masse.

Later in the afternoon, smaller ensembles were formed which gave players a chance to try out a different style of playing in a clarinet choir, sax ensemble, brass group, flute choir and woodwind ensemble. Unfortunately due to time restrictions in the evening concert, only a small number of these groups had the chance to perform one of the pieces they had worked on during the afternoon session.

Next up was an ensemble masterclass held by John Hankinson and a piccolo tips session by Nigel Street. An existing sax quartet had agreed to take part in the masterclass and work on a couple of pieces of contrasting style, in front of other Playday participants. The session was full of ideas on how best to present a piece of music to a variety of different audiences and ways to bring music to life whilst also adapting to subtle differences in venue acoustics. Meanwhile, many players from the flute section were thrilled to receive expert tuition from Nigel who brought a good deal of insider knowledge on how to best negotiate around the somewhat tricky instrument, the piccolo.

To draw the day's event to a close, players had a final full orchestral session on Sun Paints Rainbows to prepare it ready for the evening performance.

The Yorkshire Wind Orchestra was delighted to have special guests, The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress of Bradford attending the Concert of Winds, held immediately after the Yorkshire Playday. The concert was opened with Vaughan Williams' English Folk Song Suite, Martin Ellerby's Dreamscapes and Kenneth Hesketh's Danceries, all performed by the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra.

After a short interval and customary charity raffle, the Playday players began the second-half with David Bedford's Sun Paints Rainbows on the Vast Waves with such passion and attention to detail that it was almost unbelievable to think that most of the players had only been introduced to the piece earlier in the day. A quick performance from three of the smaller ensembles gave the audience an insight into the day's activities with the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra bringing the concert and a long, music-filled day to a close with Joseph Horovitz's Fête Galante.

Make money from your mobile

29th July 2008

You can make money for yourself this summer by trading in your old mobile phones AND help raise money for the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra Percussion Fund at the same time!

Make money from your mobile

All you have to do is get out your old mobile phones, visit the Yorkshire Winds EnviroCharities website and see how much your phone is worth.

If you trade in your phones, YOU will receive the full value of your phone for yourself. However, the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra will also receive an automatic donation of £3 per phone from the recycling organisation as a thank you for introducing your mobiles to them.


So, what are you waiting for? Beat the credit crunch and cash in on your old mobiles now! You may even feel good for helping to support our orchestra.

Visit www.yorkshirewinds.envirocharities.com.

Ranmoor May Music Festival

24th May 2008

Our Grand Finale performance at St John's Church drew the fifth annual Ranmoor May Music Festival to a spectacular close.

Once again the wonderful acoustic of St John's brought the orchestra's music to life on what was a warm and sunny evening for once! Concert goers were entertained with a varied first-half programme comprising Guy Woolfenden's Gallimaufry, Percy Grainger's Children's March and Bacchus on Blue Ridge by Joseph Horovitz.

After a refreshing interval and the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra's charity raffle, Adam Gorb's high-spirited Awayday brought the church back to life. Gareth Wood's Japanese Slumber Song provided a contemplative reprieve before our first performance of Martin Ellerby's Dreamscapes, a soundscape of four dreamy and imaginative cities, El Dorado, Avalon, Shangri-La and Xanadu!; some fantastic places that we look forward to revisiting soon.

Victoria Hall, Saltaire afternoon concert

6th April 2008

Victoria Hall in Saltaire

© Mark Lovell 2008

Saltaire, the beautiful World Heritage Site village near Shipley, Bradford, is a place steeped in tradition. The village was built for the workers of the famous Salts Mill, which is now a thriving centre with art galleries, cafés and shops, including the Early Music Shop, the largest source of historical instruments.

Standing proud in the centre of the village is the Victoria Hall, a place of recreation, culture and learning for the local community. The grand Main Hall, with its double storey windows, decadent 10 metre high ceiling, large stage and traditional Victorian balcony level was the perfect setting for an afternoon concert of wind music with the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra.

In typical Yorkshire style, the weather was more wintry than our afternoon Spring concert had led us to expect; sleet and snow drifted gently down while the hall resonated with the sounds of Woolfenden's Shakespearean hotch potch Gallimaufry, Grainger's Children's March and Country Gardens.

The audience were taken for a spin in Adam Gorb's open-top sports car of a piece Awayday, passing by the beauty of Ellerby's inspired Paris Sketches before taking a trip along Ticheli's Shenandoah and finally arriving for a drunken party and Hoe Down with Horovitz's Bacchus on Blue Ridge.

We were fortunate enough to have Stewart Smith record the concert for our archives and has kindly given us permission to post some extracts on our music page. Why not take a listen?

Thanks again to the staff at the Victoria Hall for all their help and to the Saltaire Brewery, ENJO UK and Steven Ford who donated raffle prizes and all our advertisers and supporters who made the afternoon a success.

YWO bassoons at the Victoria Hall in Saltaire Keiron Anderson at the Victoria Hall in Saltaire YWO clarinets at the Victoria Hall in Saltaire

© Mark Lovell 2008

National Coal Mining Museum concert

8th March 2008

The first event of 2008 was a performance on Saturday night at the National Coal Mining Museum for England, located at Caphouse Colliery, on the western edge of the Yorkshire coalfield, where mining has been carried out for centuries.

YWO at the National Coal Mining Museum

Music included Holst's First Suite in Eb, Tomlinson's Suite of English Folk Dances, Horovitz's Bacchus on Blue Ridge and Martin Ellerby's Paris Sketches which went down well with the appreciative audience.

The evening charity raffle was split between the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra's Percussion Fund and the National Coal Mining Museum's Pit Pony Appeal.

YWO percussionists

It costs almost £2,000 to care for each horse at the pit every year and ensure their retirement is a happy and carefree one. Perhaps, if you are looking for a special gift why not consider adopting one of the Pit Ponies for one year for only £12.50? You can choose to adopt Eric, Ernie, Colonel, Patch or Robbie!

We are grateful to the NCM for giving us the opportunity to play at the Museum and to a number of local supporters who either advertised their business in our evening concert programme or kindly donated raffle prizes to help raise money for the YWO and the NCM Pit Ponies.

Help us raise funds

10th January 2008

You can help raise money for the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra Percussion Fund at no extra cost to you!

All you need to do is visit our Fund Appeal pages and then visit any of the 700+ retailers' shopping links who are signed up. The YWO then earn commission from your shop at no extra cost to you!

For example:

  • You book a holiday online through thomascook.com.
    YWO receive 2% of the total value of the holiday.
  • You buy home insurance online through Barclays Insurance.
    YWO receive a fixed amount of £50.
  • You register to receive the free Yves-Rocher newsletter.
    YWO receive 23p.
  • You are a winning bidder on an ebay auction.
    YWO receive a percentage of the ebay commission.

As it shows above, even if you don't buy online many retailers will pay commission when you complete a simple action, such as registering on a website, completing a survey or even entering a competition.

Please visit our Fund Appeal pages first and then click on the competion and free stuff categories for further details.

Thank you for your help and happy shopping!

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