The prize-winning Symphonic Wind Orchestra and Wind Band were formed to further promote ensemble work in Chetham's Wind, Brass and Percussion Departments, which currently lead one of the country’s most dynamic music programmes in the field. The departments run two ensembles, with the Symphonic Wind Orchestra being made up of many of the older students.
Their repertoire is extensive and includes standard classics and new pieces. Over the years the band's have claimed an array of Gold Awards largely in the Open Class at the Boosey and Hawkes National Concert Festival, which together with performances at many of the UK's leading event venues has steadily enhanced their reputation. Performances at BASBWE conferences include the world premieres of Aue! by Christopher Marshall and Kenneth Hesketh's Masque, the British premiere of Adam Gorb's Trombone Concerto and the world premiere of the Wind Band version of Paul Patterson's Little Red Riding Hood . In addition the Wind Orchestra performed the premiere of Philip Sparke's Clarinet Concerto with Linda Merrick as soloist at Chetham’s in 2003 and the World Premiere of Andy Scott's Double Saxophone Concerto at the RNCM International Wind Festival in 2005 with John Harle and Rob Buckland as soloists. The Wind Orchestra's appearance at the 2007 WASBE (World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles) Conference, held in Killarney, was received with great critical acclaim.
Above - Chetham's Wind Orchestra performing 'Danceries' by Ken Hesketh
The Band has also worked with soloists, conductors and composers such as Tim Reynish, Joseph Horovitz, Michael Ball, James Gourlay, Philip Wilby, Tim Ewers, Martin Ellerby and Adam Gorb.