The University of Newcastle Wind Orchestra
Director: Ian Cook
The University of Newcastle Wind Orchestra had its origins as the City of Newcastle Concert Band in 1979 under the guidance of Victor Grieve the then Lecturer in Brass at Newcastle Conservatorium of Music. In 1981 Ian Cook was appointed Director of Music with the resignation of Victor Grieve. Over the next sixteen years the City of Newcastle Concert Band underwent many changes and developments. It became a major musical force in the cultural life of Newcastle.
By mid 1994 there existed three ensembles ranging from the Crotchets and Quavers, a training band for young players, a Concert Band of instrumentalists under the age of nineteen and the Wind Orchestra which is a group consisting of advanced wind, brass and percussion players from senior high school and tertiary courses. Many accolades have been bestowed upon the ensembles in local, state and national contest arenas. The Wind Orchestra has developed relationships with many other musical organizations in Newcastle in presenting a wide variety on concert activities.
In October 1994 an invitation came from Professor Robert Constable for the City of Newcastle Concert Band Inc to become part of the Faculty and Conservatorium of Music. As a result the ensemble has been renamed the University of Newcastle Wind Orchestra. The wind band as a musical entity in itself has enjoyed increased popularity over the past couple of decades and The University of Newcastle Wind Orchestra and The University of Newcastle Concert Band are proud to be part of it.
In 1997 The University of Newcastle Wind Orchestra took out the Senior A grade Championship at the Australian National Band Championships and the University of Newcastle Concert Band won the Junior A grade Championship. This was the first occasion that these titles had been awarded to The University of Newcastle Wind Bands. Their successes were repeated at the 1998 Australian National Championships held in Melbourne.
I n 2006 Wind Orchestra embarked on their first international tour visiting China. The Orchestra performed to capacity audiences in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai.
One of the important activities the Wind Orchestra undertakes each year is the BandLink programme it offers to schools in both the Hunter Region and Northwest of the State. Young players are drawn from schools in these areas to work with the members of the Wind Orchestra in both workshops and concerts.
The Wind Orchestra is for players above the age of 16 and who have reached an approximate standard of grade six AMEB or equivalent. Membership is by audition.
Rehearsals are on Wednesdays 7pm - 9:30pm in the Harold Lobb Concert Hall
Further details about the Wind Orchestra, the Concert Band, or Crotchets & Quavers are available from Ian Cook, Community Music Programs Coordinator.