If you had to put a finger on it, at its core, West Winds is a community band. The band was started with the vision to create a place where musicians in Singapore can gather, for the love of music. In 1993, the support of the People’s Association and Bukit Batok Community Club made the outset of West Winds possible. Her musicians hail from all walks of life – from civilian to military, professional to student. It is both the music and the friendship that binds “West Winders” together.
Since September 2001, West Winds has embarked on the Community Series where musicians collaborated with school bands to teach and share music. It culminated in a joint performance with the school bands. The community series underlines West Winds’ desire to contribute to the local band scene.
In 1996, the band was awarded a Gold medal when it participated in the Singapore International Youth Wind Music Festival. October 1997 saw the band’s first tour to Adelaide, participating in the city’s annual Credit Union Christmas Pageant, which was televised live in Southern Australia. In 2002, West Winds made her first music study trip to California, United States, with the aim to enlarge her musical skills. In 2005, the band again made another music trip – this time to Osaka, Japan.
The band was also featured in the 2005 WASBE (World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles) International Conference, where she was one of two Singapore bands featured.
West Winds continues to seek learning opportunities to hone their skills. 3 music study tours, to California (USA) in 2001, Osaka (Japan) in 2005 and Tokyo (Japan) in 2008, changed the band’s sound concept. The band also had the honour of studying under renowned conductors such as Mr William V Johnson, Mr Toshio Akiyama and Mr Ito Yasuhide over the years.
While the band continues to seek new opportunities to hone their skills, they keep true to their vision, endeavouring towards being a place where music lovers gather and great friendships are made.
Why West Winds?
During the formation of the band, it was then the first and only community band located on the western side of Singapore. That is how the band got its name, West Winds.
What West Winds stands for?
- To provide experienced wind and percussion players with a venue in which they can practice their art.
- To provide social camaraderie for players who have a common love for the type of music that is best suited for performance by winds and percussion.
- To provide opportunities for individual musical expression and growth.
The Band gets to perform frequently outdoors. Past venues of performance include Sentosa, World Trade Centre Amphitheatre, and Marina Square Shopping Centre. The Band also took part in the 1995 Singapore Arts Festival Fringe. The Band recently performed at Riverside Point Shopping Centre as part of its promotional activities and at the Singapore Press Holdings / Lianhe Zaobao carnival.
The Band also recently performed for the Opening Ceremony of the Fort Canning Country Club, in which prominent guests attended.
West Winds also supports grassroots activities at the Bukit Batok Constituency. The Band performed at the World War II Memorial Revealing Ceremony held at the Bukit Batok Hill in 1995, and it has always been the Band-in-Attendance at the community’s annual events such as the Bukit Batok Town Council Day, Resident’s Day, National Day Dinner as well as the CC’s Christmas Cheer concert.
The Band has also held two annual programme concerts – “West Winds in Concert ’95” and “West Winds in Concert ’96” – of which both were sold out and the band received an overwhelming response from the audience.
Probably the Band’s most significant achievement to date will be the attaining of the GOLD medal award at the 1st International Youth Music Festival, organised by World Projects Corporation and was held in Singapore in August 1996. The Band competed against several other foreign entries from Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong and received many favourable comments from the panel of world renowned judges.
Are you an amateur or semi-professional musician who enjoys playing challenging band literature?
Since its inception in 1993, WW has established itself as a haven for reasonably skilled amateur musicians in Singapore who wants to play original band repertoire and orchestral transcriptions, rather than the light pops selections. Then WW is the place to be!
In its short history, WW has earned her local reputation for her willingness to attempt all types of music.
Membership into the Band is subjected to an audition / interview. The purpose of this audition is due to the limited number of instruments available in West Winds. Successful candidates will get to use top model instruments. Do feel free to call or write in and enquire.
Email your application to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, your instrument and contact number.