About the Northern Beaches Symphonic Wind Ensemble

The Northern Beaches Symphonic Wind Ensemble is a not-for-profit organisation and was created to provide opportunities for musicians on the Northern Beaches to excel musically, as well as to enhance the cultural life of the local community. It is a high quality amateur symphonic band, accommodating adults who are approximately grade 6 standard or above. This level of playing maintains the band's very high standard, gives local musicians something to aspire to, and provides our audiences with very enjoyable concerts. The band has competed on several occasions in the Open A grade event of the National Band Championships, embarks on numerous local tours and regularly hosts concerts with other community ensembles and school ensembles. One such concert activity is the hosting of the Northern Beaches Instrumental Music Festival that boasts approximately 4500 participants and over 10000 audience members across a two-week period.

The band started its life as a youth ensemble in the early 1980's and was known as the Collaroy Connection. Neil Buckley, who was a teacher at Collaroy Plateau Public School, began the ensemble so students could maintain their playing after graduating. In 1988, Martin Hardy - see separate biography, took over as director as has remained the director and conductor since. The Ensemble's musicians represent many professions including physicians, lawyers, teachers, trades people and business executives. Numerous professional musicians and music teachers play in the band to help maintain their personal musical standard and all musicians are committed to volunteering their time to the band.

The Northern Beaches Symphonic Wind Ensemble is now one of several local affiliated groups on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. They include the Northern Beaches Concert Band, the Northern Beaches Symphonic Youth Band, the Northern Beaches Symphony Orchestra, the Northern Beaches Youth Orchestra and the Village Big band.

Featured performance video: Danse Folâtre - Claude T. Smith

Major performance

The next major concert of the Northern Beaches Symphonic Wind Ensemble will be held on Sunday the 2nd June at 6:00pm at Pittwater High School. This is the Gala Concert of the 2024 Northern Beaches Instrumental Festival. Also appearin in the Gala Concert are the Northern Beaches Concert Band (Sarah Shaw), Sydney North Public Schools Band Program Symphonic Band (Lemin Luu) and the Northern Beaches Symphonic Youth Band (Jennifer Power)

Tickets can be purchased at the door. Prices are $10 Adult, $5 Concession and $20 Family.

Dr Martin HardyThe Ensemble is conducted by Dr Martin Hardy. Martin is a passionate music educator and professional musician. His formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Music Education from the Sydney College of Advanced Education, a Master of Music from the University of New South Wales, an Associate of Music Australia (Trombone), and a PhD in instrumental education with The University of Western Sydney.

As a trombonist, Martin has worked professionally in a variety of musical genres from small jazz ensembles to symphony orchestras.

Martin's career as a conductor has seen him work with many of the country's finest ensembles, including the New South Wales State School's Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the University of New South Wales Wind Ensemble, the Sydney Metropolitan North Schools Symphony Orchestra and Bands, as well as the newly formed Northern Beaches Youth Orchestra. Martin is a sought after adjudicator and guest conductor.

For a number of years, Martin worked in the Arts Unit of the New South Wales Department of Education and Training. In 2007, he returned his focus to local education, and is Head of the Creative and Performing Arts department of Pittwater High School. He regularly adjudicates instrumental festivals, guest conducts ensembles and provides instrumental workshops for both students and teachers. Recently, in 2011, Dr Hardy wrote a book 'Teaching Music From the Podium' which he has based and given professional development workshops for directors and teachers on. He has also written a composition for Orchestra and Symphonic band called 'Bomani'.

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Simply send an email with your contact details to info@nbswe.org.au.

For more information, contact:
Robert Johanson (Secretary, Northern Beaches Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Inc.)