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Richmond Symphonic Concert Band " "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "

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Mission Statement
The Richmond Symphonic Concert Band (RSCB), a new band for South-West London, was launched in March 2010 with its inaugural concert taking place in the early summer. This new ensemble has been designed to appeal to musicians of Grade 8 standard and above, in addition to professional players, who are keen to continue Britain's great tradition of wind band playing.

The aim of the RSCB is to perform the finest music of the last two centuries for wind band, both symphonic and light classical, in association with accessible music of today, including original arrangements. Concerts feature a broadly-based repertoire and, whenever possible, programmes will also give solo opportunities to members of the band and/or guest soloists.

Rehearsal Venue
Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings (7.45 - 10.00) and take place at:
Raleigh Road United Church
Raleigh Road

See map

What is a Symphonic Concert Band?
A wind band is also called a concert band, symphonic band, symphonic winds, wind orchestra, wind symphony, wind ensemble, or symphonic wind ensemble. It is a performing ensemble consisting of members of the woodwind, brass and percussion families. However, instrumentation for the wind band is not standardised as composers frequently add or omit parts. As some bands do not have certain instruments, important lines for these instruments are often cued into other parts.

The Development of the Wind Band
In the 18th century, military ensembles, called Harmonie bands, performed at the royal courts, either alone or together with stringed instruments. These bands developed a standard instrumentation of two oboes, two clarinets, two horns, and two bassoons.

During the 19th century large ensembles of wind and percussion instruments performed for ceremonial and festive occasions. These were mainly in the form of the Military Band and most of the pieces played were marches. The only time wind bands could play in a concert setting, like a symphony orchestra, was when orchestral or operatic pieces were specially arranged for them, as there were so few original concert works for a large wind ensemble. The first notable original symphonic work for band was Gustav Holst's First Suite in E-Flat, written in 1909, and it is still considered the classic work of the symphonic band. After Holst many composers, including Percy Grainger and Ralph Vaughan Williams, wrote specifically for the symphonic or concert band. As a result it was gradually realised that the wind band could actually complement the symphony orchestra by also performing high level concerts. Consequently the wind band progressed away from the military marching ensemble into the concert band during the 20th century.

The modern wind ensemble was established by Frederick Fennell at Eastman School of Music in 1952. The idea was that the orchestra, and therefore also the wind band, was actually a 'pool' of players with the composer choosing the instruments he needed to create each original composition. Contemporary composers realised that they could write original music for the wind band much more easily than for the symphony orchestra so now many works are being written specifically for the concert band and the wind ensemble.

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