The Big Christmas Wind Orchestra was formed in 2012 to bring together a range of people into a scratch built band and ensemble.
What started with perhaps less than 30 people, sheepishly gathered on the edge of a Christmas market, has now become an enormous regular annual event.
Up to 300 performers bring Christmas cheer to all participants and audience members, who take part in the UK's biggest annual scratch wind orchestra and choir performing Christmas carols and festive favourites every year!
We have two main aims:
We want to encourage everyone to consider making music all year round - by running one-off events we hope to kick-start people's engagement with amateur bands, choirs and orchestras around the country. Our friends at Making Music can help you find a band, choir or orchestra near you if you've been inspired by our Christmas performances - click here to find out more.
We also know that our events mix total beginners with professional players, to improve everyone's playing ability and make new musical contacts. Where else can you find 10s of tubas, contrabassoons and even a serpent or two all in one place?! By playing well known Christmas carols and popular songs, we want to encourage and inspire players by showing what can be achieved when musicians come together at a great scale.
In 2015 we added a choir to our events, which has been very successful. Performing alongside the wind orchestra with a selection of delightful descants and deep basses they really encourage everyone in the audience to sing along.
We were delighted to receive a grant from Arts Council England in 2017, enabling us to purchase more sheet music to allow more people to join in, and to make large print and special edition copies for all those who wish to take part. We're incredibly grateful for the support of Arts Council England and look forward to the benefits that the new sheet music will bring to our participants.
Take a look at the Gallery page to check out some photos and videos from the last few years, and most importantly, sign-up to join in, or come and watch us perform!