Yorkshire Wind Orchestra

Previous Events

Review: "A Night at the Movies"

8th May 2016

Bingley Flood Relief concert

Yorkshire Wind Orchestra gave a charity concert Sunday May 8 at Beckfoot School in aid of Bingley Flood Relief. We were promised 'A Night At The Movies' and were treated to a feast of incidental and title themes of no less than twenty films. The greatest composers of film music were represented including John Williams and, the sadly late, James Horner.

Included in this one hundred minutes of celebration were the big franchises Harry Potter, Star Wars, James Bond and Pirates of the Caribbean and single, much-loved one-offs such as Frozen, Magnificent 7 and Apollo 13. The arrangements were chosen well, all the iconic motifs were heard in suitable instrumentation so no disappointment there.

The venue could have posed many acoustic problems being a sports hall with high ceilings and little furnishings. However, with tiered padded seating and over 200 people inside and some useful fabric hangings the sound was warm and clear.

This wonderful orchestra never fails to entertain and impress with their versatility and musicianship. Keiron Anderson directs his musicians with sensitivity and vigour and they respond in kind. It is impossible and divisive to single out any one section or musician for special mention but I do hope someone bought the kit player a pint afterwards!

Review by Catherine Cook

Yorkshire Wind Orchestra Flying High

18th August 2013

On Sunday 18th August 2013, as part of the Feva Festival in Knaresborough, the YWO gave a concert of music around the theme of flight, space and the cosmos. Their usual Musical Director, Keiron Anderson, conducted and compered, with his customary dry wit.

The music was all played with great passion and vigour, and with a high level of technical skill from the various sections of the orchestra. A novelty was that their expanded flute ensemble also did two slots, both of music by Keiron Anderson.

The music was a mixture of well-known and "never heard it before". First up was Jupiter from Holst's Planet Suite. This was thrilling, and is obviously a tour de force, requiring great virtuosity to play like this. Set against this was Dawn Flight by Philip Wilby, who grew up in Leeds and taught at Leeds University. This was in striking contrast to Jupiter, with fascinating and novel sounds produced from top to bottom of the aural picture. There was a real sense of journey in this piece, mirroring the take-off, flight and landing of an old bi-plane.

Sea of Tranquillity for flute ensemble came next. Now this required great concentration from the listeners to appreciate the subtle musical figure running through the piece. Happily the programme note helped us out here. Weird and wonderful was the fact that we had, alongside "normal" flutes, alto, contra-alto, bass and, rarity-of-rarities, a contrabass flute, which resembled a quaint drainage system! The sound from the group, however, was really beautiful, refined and warm.

Before the Star Wars Saga of John Williams, a pot-pourri of themes from the films, and played with great energy and tenderness, as required, was Nightfall by Lenny Sayers. Mr Sayers was in the audience, apparently a former member of the YWO. This must have added a certain frisson, as the players were clearly concentrating like mad to convey the message of this very exacting piece. Once more we had unfamiliar textures to contemplate, but there was a satisfying and rewarding feel to the piece.

Quite a first half, I thought! Very enjoyable in lots of different ways.

Walton's famous Spitfire Prelude began the second half with lively precision. The oddest piece on the programme followed. Sun Paints Rainbows on the Vast Waves by David Bedford required a monster percussion input, playing tuned and untuned percussion, including water-filled wine bottles! The orchestra produced sounds from the quietest whisper to block chords of ear-threatening loudness. We had aural pictures of rough seas and light patterns shining through the stormy waves. It was all rather strange, but exciting, and was, again, played with a sense of security and skill not found in inferior ensembles, who would not have been able to play the piece, frankly.

Keiron Anderson's Andromeda, for flutes, was a fascinating piece to follow. The sounds produced were very dreamy and esoteric, vigorous and precise. This was a really lovely piece, and was well appreciated by the large audience. The performance appeared to be flawless. I really enjoyed this piece very much.

The concert ended with music from the film E.T. by John Williams. This was a very demanding work to end the programme, but every section shone as their individual contributions added to the total effect. The last few bars were thrilling, bringing the concert to a magnificent close.

Altogether, a really enjoyable concert, in a fine venue, very much appreciated by the wide-age-range audience.

Review by Janet Bellamy

Spring is sprung!

1st May 2013

Spring concert in Ilkley

The Yorkshire Wind Orchestra returned to St Margaret's Church in Ilkley on 20 April to present a spring concert of wind music described by one audience member as "amazingly adventurous".

The varied programme opened with Gustav Holst's Second Suite in F and featured pieces by Malcolm Arnold, Philip Wilby, and Cornish composer, Eseld Pierce alongside Martin Ellerby's challenging Symphony for Winds. A particular highlight was the 'northern premiere' of Praeludium by musical director, Keiron Anderson. There's still some debate, however, about Leeds' 'northness'...! Frank Ticheli's jazz-influenced Blue Shades provided an exciting finale to an evening of exhilerating music, performed to a particularly warm and appreciative audience.

Celebrating Christmas!

19th December 2012

Fun Christmas concert in Ilkley

For the first time in many years the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra performed a Christmas concert with festivities at St Margaret's Church, Ilkley on the evening of Wednesday 19th December at 7pm.

Our family friendly Christmas Concert provided an opportunity to bring the children along just a few days before Christmas to enjoy an evening of fun classical wind music and of course join in with some well known sing along carols.

A Christmas Festival by Leroy Anderson, Troika by Sergei Prokofiev, O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen, Nigel Hess' A Christmas Overture, Themes from the Snowman by Howard Blake and lots more Christmas inspired music, plus a selection of Christmas carols made for a special celebratory evening to finish off the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra's 2012 concert season in high spirits (or was that just the mulled wine and mince pies served in the interval?).

YWO and LYCB perform Pictures at an Exhibition

21st October 2012

Concert with Leeds Youth Concert Band

The Yorkshire Wind Orchestra performed Mussorgsky's well-known orchestral work Pictures at an Exhibition together with the Leeds Youth Concert Band in an exhilarating massed bands concert on Sunday 21st October at West Park Centre, Spen Lane, Leeds.

The evening concert featuring both musical groups, followed on from an earlier workshop where players from the Leeds Youth Concert Band worked with the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra's musical director, Keiron Anderson on Shepherd's Hey! and Irish Tune from County Derry by Percy Grainger.

The programme also included music by Gustav Holst, Kenneth Hesketh, Morten Lauridsen and Malcolm Arnold and was enjoyed by a small yet appreciative audience.

The YWO would like to thank Ray Payne, Richard Kippen and the players from Leeds Youth Concert Band.

Celebrating home-grown talent!

10th June 2012

Yorkshire Wind Orchestra celebrating home-grown talent

Yorkshire Wind Orchestra at Square Chapel, Halifax, © Jim Counter

This June saw the return of our region's finest wind musicians to Square Chapel in Halifax and a rare opportunity to experience a home-grown work by a budding local composer.

Nic Mills, a final-year student at Huddersfield University, is about to embark on a Masters degree in composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He already has numerous works published and performed by groups such as Leyland Brass Band and the Swiss Army Brass Band.

Nic Mills, percussionist

Nic Mills

To support Nic's talent, members of the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra performed his Finale from Symphony No. 1 which has already been performed by a quality wind orchestra in China. Nic is a regular percussionist with the orchestra and his work closed the concert in spectacular fashion.

"I have been with Yorkshire Wind Orchestra for 3 years and I think it is fantastic that they will be playing my Finale from Symphony No. 1 in my last concert with them before I go to the Royal Academy. It promises to be a great concert!", said Nic.

The concert also showcased other original works for winds including two contrasting works by Eric Whitacre, perhaps best known for his Virtual Choir internet collaborations. Equus is a thrilling, rhythmic show piece that runs with the wind (Equus is Latin for horse) while the Seal Lullaby was originally conceived for a classic animated film based on Kiplingís The White Seal.

Le concert des vents

24th March 2012

Le concert des vents, Ilkley

The Yorkshire Wind Orchestra presented their first ever French themed event at St. Margaretís Church in Ilkley.

Le concert des vents gave the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra a chance to perform beautiful pieces of French themed wind music by some fabulous composers such as Saint-SaŽns, Milhaud, Bizet, Faurť.

The interval continued the French theme with a selection of 12 different French cheeses, 4 French wines all complete with accompanying tasting notes with 4 varieties of French bread and crackers. Eagle eyed audience members will have noticed the red, white and blue napkins, balloons and the cheese and wine table set out on a French flag.

As ever, our charity raffle was successful and a big thank you to Le Bistrot Pierre, Tesco, Booths, Marks and Spencer, Martinez Wines, Co-op and MusicTag who all very kindly donated prizes.

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