This is a sandbox - I'm new so I want to practise getting this right before I do anything.
Birmingham Symphonic Winds
BSW was established in 1992 by its Musical Director, Keith Allen, with the aim of offering local players the opportunity to perform hiqh-quality wind repertoire and contemporary compositions, and has become arguably the most successful ensemble of its kind in the UK. It promotes its own themed concert series at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham, home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and has performed numerous UK and world premieres, including works by Samuel Hazo, Philip Sparke, Martin Ellerby, Kenneth Hesketh and Guy Woolfenden, the orchestra's patron.
BSW is has performed at numerous UK and International music festivals, including the National Concert Band Festival, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) conference in Schladming, Austria and the the 4th International Wind Band Festival in Strasbourg (first prize). BSW was the first ever UK ensemble to perform at the Midwest Clinic, Chicago in December 2003. BSW has also been invited to perform at the WASBE Conference in Killarney, Ireland in July 2007.
He studied clarinet with Graham Turner at Keeble College, Oxford, and went on to teach woodwind in Manchester and surrounding areas before gaining recognition as a conductor and music educator, particulary of wind orchestras and ensembles. His career has included posts as Head of Composition at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, and Director of Music at Warwick University (1989 - 2004).
As a conductor he has directed ensembles in the UK and internationally, including the National Youth Wind Orchestras of Great Britain and Luxembourg and for several years he was a regular conductor at the Dartington International Summer School. He is a frequent adjudicator at music festivals and competitions and his compositions have been broadcast on national and local radio and TV.
He is also active in administration, having served on national committees for the Incorporated Society of Musicians, Society of Recorder Players and the British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles. He has founded ensembles including Warwick Orchestral Winds (originally Midlands Wind Orchestra), the Universities Honours Band, and the National Youth Recorder Orchestra.
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