The stated objectives of BASBWE are ‘to advance the status of symphonic wind bands and ensembles and the education of the general public’. BASBWE has achieved these aims over the past twenty-five years through continued support of individual musicians, their bands and ensembles, conductors, directors, educators and composers.
The Association has gained considerably in size and stature over more than two decades and is proud to see the vast improvement in standards and awareness throughout the movement. The wind band/ensemble has been seen as the fastest growing medium in ‘classical’ music making in the latter part of the twentieth century, much of this growth being due to the tremendous popularity of wind instruments in schools with, of course, these young players then moving into adulthood and becoming the new professional performers or amateur players in the community.
A crucial role of BASBWE has been in developing awareness of repertoire and ensuring that there is a constant supply of new music, without which the whole movement could stagnate.
As a national association, the scope of BASBWE is far-reaching, both geographically and in the levels of contact and influence. It is organised into ten regions spanning the United Kingdom and has a remit to develop repertoire and standards of performance and awareness at all levels from schools, through colleges to music in the community and at professional level. Its work is also complemented by the production of the quarterly journal, Winds magazine, and the BASBWE Education Trust. Winds is widely regarded at home and abroad as the definitive journal for the genre.
The aims of the BASBWE Education Trust are ‘to advance public education in the arts and in particular the art of symphonic wind band and ensemble music’. The Trust has organised more than 300 workshops, giving training to at least 14,000 musicians and their bands. It also heads the College Commission Consortium that has commissioned a series of major works over the past decade. The BASBWE Education Trust gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Performing Right Society.