Maidstone Wind Symphony is widely regarded as one of Kent and the United Kingdom's leading wind orchestras.
Since its formation in 1998, MWS has always attracted excellent players, many of whom were originally members of Maidstone Youth Music Society and the Kent Youth Wind Orchestra.
The MWS’s list of conductors has included founder Brendon Le Page, Jeremy Cooper, current Music Director Jonathan Crowhurst, as well as guest conductors, including Jeffrey Vaughan Martin and Brett Baker.
The orchestra has performed many premieres of music for symphonic band including works by Peter Graham, Johan de Meij, Rodney Newton, Philip Sparke, Ray Farr, Andrew Baker, Eric Geldard, Ferrer Ferran and Paul Lovatt Cooper, as well as commissioning works by local composers, including Malcolm Riley, Simon Proctor and Elizabeth Freeborn. The orchestra appointed former military composer, Richard Hubbert, as its first composer in association and has continued this support and commitment to new works for symphonic band by appointing Peter Longworth to this position for the 2012-2013 season.
The MWS performs 7-8 concerts a year and has had the privilege of working with some of the country’s leading professional soloists, composers and ensembles, including Kevin Ashman, principal cornet of the International Staff Band, Brett Baker the principal trombonist of the world famous Black Dyke Band and Gavin Pritchard, virtuoso percussionist. In recent times the orchestra has collaborated with the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers, Eynsford Concert Band and Byneset Musikkorps from Trondheim, Norway. The orchestra will collaborate with Faversham Choral Society, euphonium virtuoso David Thornton and Scottish Opera trumpeter Huw Morgan in the remainder of 2013.
In the summer of 2012, MWS recorded its first CD, 'Slide Projections', with acclaimed trombonist Brett Baker, featuring music by composers Johan de Meij, Philip Sparke, Rob Wiffin and Jan Van der Roost. The recording was released to critical acclaim in early December last year.
MWS works alongside fellow arts organisations including Maidstone Area Arts Partnership. In September 2010 a unique partnership was formed between the orchestra and Maidstone Youth Music Society to build upon the success of the organisations musical traditions and cultural links. The two organisations performed together for the first time in March 2011. This partnership forms a strategy for long-term support. To date over 100 musicians have benefited from this partnership.
It is first and foremost the music that draws these enthusiasts together. One of the aims of the orchestra is to further the recognition of the symphonic band movement in the United Kingdom, through the presentation of original music and the best available arrangements of symphonic works.