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An introduction to the Isle of Man Wind Orchestra (IOMWO)

The Isle of Man Wind Orchestra came into being in 1997, the brainchild of Chris Weldon, Henry Teare and Paul Dunderdale.  The first rehearsal was attended by 16 players and the band grew quickly.  We now have an average attendance of about 30, and there are more than 40 players when all are back from university and when life and work allow.


We are a community band, as defined by our association, BASBWE (the memorably entitled British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles), and membership is open to all players of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments.


Musically, we play to as high a standard as possible, but have no specific entry qualifications or other restrictions.  In other words, everyone’s welcome.  Our repertoire is wide and varied, from the windband classics to show music, with a liberal helping of recent music specifically written for windband – something for everyone.  We give formal concerts every term, busk carols on the cold streets of Douglas at Christmas and play outdoors in summer.


The group is both affordable and accessible.  We don’t make any charge for players in full-time education or at university, and adult membership costs only £54 per year.


Our Musical Director is Paul Dunderdale, one of the band’s founders.  Paul, a retired music teacher, has conducted various ensembles since the age of 16, and is a clarinettist  and occasional composer.  He has been involved with windbands since 1978.


Highlights of the past years have been band tours to the Czech Republic and to Holland, and we are planning a tour for the summer of 2012.  We gained a Silver and three Gold awards at regional BASBWE festivals, and three Silver awards at the finals.  We were invited to play at the BASBWE Wind Weekend in Manchester and have been invited to the same event in Shrewsbury in December 2011.


Each year we have a workshop weekend with a guest conductor, and we have worked with some of the UK’s best windband directors.  We have developed particularly fruitful partnerships with Colin Touchin and Phil Robinson.


The 2011/12 season is our 15th and we have a busy programme in place, including a first for us: with the help of the Manx Heritage Foundation we have been able to commission a piece based on Manx tunes from Colin Touchin.  He will visit the island in February to work with us, and we will give the world premiere of the piece later that month.


Please feel free to browse our site to get a feel for the orchestra and the people who make it a fun place to make music.


If you have a couple of hours spare on Thursday evenings, do come along to meet us at Marown School, Glen Vine.   See our Joining In page.


Weekly rehearsals start at 7:45pm during term time and run for around two hours.


Oh, and don’t forget to check out our What’s On page for details of upcoming concerts and events.


If you would like to know more, feel free to contact us, or simply send an email to the webmaster.