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Philharmonic Wind Orchestra

Date of Performance

07. 18(Thu) / 14:00 ~ 15:30

Conductor
Band SNS

Dr. Leonard Tan

Introduction

Comprising over 150 highly skilled volunteer musicians, Philharmonic Wind Orchestra (PWO) was founded in 2022 to continue the legacy of The Philharmonic Winds and Philharmonic Youth Winds. Led by Music Director Maestro Leonard Tan, PWO continues the long-standing artistic mission of advancing wind music in Singapore, at the same time expanding its outreach to all segments of the Singaporean community. 


Since its formation in 2000, The Philharmonic Winds and Philharmonic Youth Winds have been known for presenting meaningfully-programmed concerts of consistently high standards. Each concert revolves around a theme, such as Sounds of Japan, All That Jazz, Absoluut Dutch, An American Portrait and Death and Life, amongst others. The wind orchestras have also presented works by Grainger and Varèse, wind serenades by Mozart, Dvořák and Strauss, symphonies by Hindemith, Barnes and De Meij, and various works by Luis Serrano Alarcon, including his monumental “Marco Polo Trilogy” which was heralded as one of the “Best Classical Concert of the Year” (2015) by The Straits Times, Singapore. In addition, The Philharmonic Winds has participated in opera productions of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Weill’s Street Scenes.


PWO also strongly supports Singaporean composers by performing and premiering their works, devoting entire concerts to their compositions. Composers featured include Leong Yoon Pin, Kelly Tang and Phoon Yew Tien, to name but a few. The orchestras also seek to enrich wind repertoire with arrangements by their very own members.

Over the years, PWO has developed a number of music series, which have been popular with their audiences. These include: 

  • “Philharmonic Winds in Concert” series, featuring cutting edge wind repertoire

  • Philharmonic Youth Winds’ “Classique” series, featuring notable wind compositions

  • “Fun with Music”, a children’s concert series

  • “Singapore Compose”, featuring local composers and compositions)

  • “Philharmonic Winds Goes Pop”, its signature pop series, including arrangements by its members

  • Philharmonic Youth Winds’ “Songs Our Parents Love”, a pop oldies’ series

  • “Sounds of Japan” series, featuring Japanese wind repertoire

International Accolades

PWO has been proud to fly the Singapore flag high on the world stage, first announcing its arrival in a First Prize win at the 2005 World Music Contest, Kerkrade, The Netherlands – a four-yearly gathering of the best wind orchestras in the world. In 2013, PWO clinched Second Prize in the International Wind Band Contest – City of Valencia, Spain. In 2018, PWO won a Gold Medal in the Concert Division back home at the Singapore International Band Festival, and later performed as a guest orchestra at the same festival in 2022.

Guest Conductors and Soloists

PWO strives for continuous growth and development through partnerships with renowned authorities in wind orchestra, conductors, composers and musicians. It has also collaborated with musicians and experts in other art forms such as ethnic instruments, dance, choral music, Japanese taiko drumming, flamenco dance and even sand art, relishing the interdisciplinary connections and friendships that it has made. 

Community Engagement and Education

PWO brings music to the general public by performing at neighbourhoods, and to anywhere it believes it can make a difference. Through these outreach performances, PWO seeks to inspire generations of future performers, make music accessible, and support social causes.

PWO regularly participates in the National Arts Council’s programmes and initiatives, such as its Singapore Arts Festival, Arts in Your Neighbourhood series, and Silver Arts Festival. Through these, it has brought music to the community, performing at Gardens by the Bay, Botanic Gardens, Marina Bay Financial Centre, Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, and at heartland locations such as Toa Payoh, Tampines, Boon Keng, Yishun and Pasir Ris. Its instrumental ensembles also regularly perform for the Arts Education Programmes in schools.

PWO also supports social causes, having performed at the Yellow Ribbon Run, Pathlight School, and for Car-Free Sundays. In 2014, it staged a fundraising concert for the Children’s Charities Association of Singapore, raising $35,000 for needy children. It also invited beneficiaries from SGEnable, Caregivers Alliance Limited and The Business Times Budding Artist Fund to join in celebrations at its gala concert in October 2022.

In addition, PWO facilitates masterclasses conducted by its musicians and conductors. The orchestra also serves as a platform for composers and arrangers to have their works performed, thus providing opportunities for local talents to be showcased.

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