For more than 30 years the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble has been engaging audiences with the best in wind ensemble music. Consisting of 50 of Winnipeg’s finest wind and percussion players the ensemble has defined itself as the top standard for Wind Ensembles across the prairies.

Started in 1985 the group originally consisted of a group band teachers who thought it would be great to have a community band made of people who perform at a very high level. Since then the group has had some of the best wind ensemble conductors and players in the Province perform as part of the ensemble and has been going strong ever since

This Sunday, May 1st at 3:00PM they will be putting on a concert called “Old Friends” at St. John’s Cathedral which is at 135 Anderson Avenue.

The concert will consist of music of Gustav Holst, Leonard Bernstein, Malcolm Arnold and others; many of the pieces being cornerstones of the wind ensemble literature. As Artistic Director Ginny Helmer says, “As things got further and further into the pandemic, I started thinking about the idea of bringing back some old favorites.”

Logistically performing staples of the literature made sense as well. Supply chains were interrupted by the pandemic, and the guarantee of having musical parts arrive in time from outside the Province was at times questionable.

One of the real highlights of the concert is that it will be featuring a very talented young trumpet player from here in Winnipeg. Sam Ferguson is just in his mid-teens, and is already establishing himself as an excellent trumpet player. He will be playing the first two movements of Oskar Bohme’s Trumpet concerto accompanied by the Wind Ensemble. “He’s (Sam) is an amazing musician! It’s going to be a real treat for anybody, because it is a beautiful piece of music…it’s also got a lot of virtuosity and a lot of meat to it…and Sam’s a great player!” says Helmer.

Other highlights of the concert include selections from Bernstein’s “West Side Story” as well as Holst‘s First Suite for Military Band. Performing all of this wonderful music is like re-uniting with old friends for the members of the ensemble. The title off the concert “Old Friends” comes full circle. The musicians on the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble are meeting their friends and colleagues from the community for the rehearsals and the performance, and communicating with them through music that the members of the ensemble love and cherish. 

This is going to be a fabulous concert performed by some of Winnipeg’s finest musicians. The concert takes place this Sunday, May 1st  at 3:00pm at 135 Anderson Avenue. Tickets will be available at the door.