The History of KWO
The award winning Kew Wind Orchestra ranks as one of Britain's top amateur wind ensembles.
Formed in 1984, it is renowned for its popular and challenging repertoire of jazz, classical and symphonic music.
In recent years, the band is proud to have won a succession of gold awards at the National Concert Band Festival finals, commissioned a number of world premieres and performed with some of the UK's leading musicians.
It has played in top concert venues around the country - including Newcastle's Sage hall and Westminster's St John's, Smith Square - and has performed in a number of major European capital cities.
KWO has won critical acclaim from the likes of world-famous trumpeter John Wallace OBE, who has remarked: "Now that's what I call a band."
The orchestra has also been honoured to commission and perform world premieres of works by acclaimed composers Derek Bourgeois, Michael Omer and Eddie Harvey.
In April 2008, KWO became the only wind orchestra in Britain to win gold for three years in a row in the open class of the NCBF finals with it's 'remarkable' performance of Dominic Muldowney's thrilling Dance Suite.
In 2005, the orchestra also won a silver award for its first performance at the highly-competitive World Music Competition in Kerkrade, Holland. In 2004, KWO was delighted to be invited to open the first ever London International Wind Festival as guest performers.
Guest soloists who have played with the orchestra include clarinetist Linda Merrick and London Philharmonic Orchestra trombonist Mark Templeton. In the autumn of 2005, KWO was thrilled to be joined by singer Louise Marshall - a member of Jools Holland's band - for a sell-out jazz showcase at the Hampton Hill playhouse.
With over 40 members, KWO enjoys a thriving diary of concerts, foreign tours and social events. The band, conducted by Spencer Down, is an entirely self-supporting community band and was awarded an Arts for All Lottery Grant in 2001.