We are the Isle of Man Wind Orchestra, and we want you!
Playing in the Wind Orchestra
Questions and answers
Q. I'm not sure I'm ready for the standard of music you play?
A. We have a wide range of abilities in the IoMWO, and we also play music of varying
difficulty. Some of us find the music well within our capabilities, some of us find
it really challenging. You are more than welcome to come along and watch our rehearsal
if you want to scope us out first before playing.
Q. Do you hold auditions?
A. No. We don't hold auditions- for entry to the band or for principal positions.
We don't have "principal seats" as such- we have experienced players in each section
who can take the lead if needs be, but we also encourage rotation of parts for those
who want it.
Q. Do you have a minimum age limit?
A. No, we don't. We have school students and pensioners in the wind orchestra, and
every age in between. If you want to join, we are happy to have you.
Q. Do I have to achieve a certain "grade" or level of playing before I can join?
A. No, you don't. Just keep an open mind about the experience & remember that even
a grade 8 player will find playing in a group tricky if they've never done so before.
Playing in a group is totally different to playing to yourself alone in your house-
in a good way! Learning to play in a group will increase your confidence, your sight
reading abilities, and is one of the most rewarding things you can do as a musician.
Q. What if I pay the subscription fee to join, and then decide I don't like it?
A. We won't expect you to pay the sub until you've decided that the IoMWO is for
Q. What's the difference between a wind orchestra and a brass band (apart from the
A. OK, so apart from the obvious (those pesky woodwind players!), there are a few
subtle and not so subtle differences. As a brass player, you will work in a much
smaller section than in a brass band, often one player per part. You'll also find
the part less intensive- you'll have more chances to rest in the wind band, while
the other sections of the band take over the tune!
The sound of the wind band is totally different, due to the huge variety of instruments
you don't get in a brass band - from the piccolo to the bass clarinet, from the French
horn to the cor anglais. We play film music, show music, marches & classical pops
but we also play music which is written specifically for wind orchestra (aka concert
band, symphonic band, wind band).
Our concert and rehearsal schedule is less intensive than a brass band's. We rehearse
only once a week, and play fewer concerts during the year. We don't do "contests".
Sometimes we travel to the UK to take part in the National Concert Band Festival,
which focuses on achievement of a certain level but does not pit the bands against
one another. It's all about the fun of playing!
Q. Do I have to come to every rehearsal?
A. That's a loaded question! The answer is that the wind orchestra is a team. If
there are members of the team missing, it makes the "game" harder for the rest. If
you join, we'd ask you to consider it a commitment. Of course there will be times
you simply can't make it to rehearsal - that happens to us all.
Q. Do you go on tours?
A. Yes! In the last few years we've travelled to the Czech Republic & the Netherlands,
and taken short breaks to Cardiff and to Manchester for music festivals. We're long
overdue for a tour in Europe, so something like that is on the cards in the near
"The wind orchestra is a place where folk make good music (sometimes even serious
music), without taking themselves too seriously. Rehearsals are always a mix of
concentration, learning and laughter ... and for me the musical mix is a great balance
between 'fun' and 'challenging'
- Jem, Saxophone
"I look forward to the IOMWO as it's an opportunity to relax and play good music
in a good environment, with great people."
- Helen, Trumpet
"I love the music we play.
I really enjoy playing the tuba, but it does sound better with other instruments!
It's good to be with like-minded people." - Jacqueline, Tuba
"I enjoy the Isle of Wind Orchestra as it enables me to play the type of music that
I enjoy namely Concert Band Repertoire.
also get great enjoyment with the concerts that we do. The social side is great
as everyone gets on with each other. It is also great in the way that everyone helps
each other musically."
- Graham, Clarinet
"I enjoy Wind Orchestra as everyone is very friendly and from the first day I joined
I was made so welcome. I also enjoy the types of music that is played and also the
friendly social nights out.
You can also be guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face and also looking forward
to the next rehearsal or concert."
- Tara, Trumpet
If you play a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument, can read music and are keen
to participate, our doors are open.
We rehearse in Marown School, Glen Vine on Thursday evenings between 7:45pm and 9:45
pm during the school term.
We keep the IoMWO going mainly through member subscriptions. The membership fee is
£54 for the year. This pays for the rent for our rehearsal space, sheet music, instruments,
music stands and so on. The membership fee is waived for anyone in full-time education.