australian wind symphony
Australian wind symphony is a 40-piece professional wind ensemble championing new music by living composers. Based in the capital region, this touring ensemble brings full-scale wind symphonic music to audiences Australia wide. It creates performance opportunities for graduate and freelance professional musicians.
The Australian wind symphony launched as the Canberra wind symphony in 2015 at the ACT Legislative Assembly. It was formed by conductor Geoff Grey, to provide performance opportunities for freelance professional instrumentalists in the capital region.
AWS is passionate about playing new music by living composers. As of late 2021, it will have performed 62 premieres since its inception – some being international premieres, and many of those being from Australian composers. In 2018 it performed a new work commissioned especially for the ensemble – Winds of Hope by Michael Dooley.
AWS has performed in many wonderful venues across the capital region, including Llewellyn Hall in a sell-out collaboration with the visiting St. Olaf Band. It has also performed at the national museum of Australia, the High Court of Australia, the Street Theatre, The A, Ainslie+Gorman Arts Centres, Drill Hall Gallery, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Fitters’ Workshop, and Bicentennial Hall. In 2018 the ensemble was the first wind ensemble ever to be included in the Canberra International Music Festival, and in 2019 the ensemble partnered with Marina Prior to perform an outdoor spectacular, and later with Ed Wilson to celebrate his 50th anniversary of swing. The ensemble toured to Braidwood, Bowral, and Wollongong on separate occasions.
AWS performs an annual Remembrance Day concert at the Warriors’ Chapel, Forrest, Canberra. This performance includes live readings from contemporary veterans, and audience favourite Abide With Me, incorporating the Last Post in an arrangement by Jay Dawson. In 2020, a recording of this performance was licenced by the Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts, USA.