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Education Training, Music

Hunter Wind Ensemble: 20th anniversary concert this weekend

NSW Department of Education 3 mins read

Hunter Wind Ensemble: 20th anniversary concert

Saturday 24 June at 1:00 pm - Newcastle Christ Church Cathedral

22 June 2023


Some of the Hunter’s best young musicians will perform in one of the highlights of the Hunter Wind Ensemble’ 20th anniversary celebrations this weekend.


Alumni of the Ensemble will rejoin it to present a spectacular program of music in the 20th Anniversary Concert at Newcastle Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday 24 June at 1:00 pm.


In 2003, Department of Education Regional Arts Coordinator Lyn Cook met with young conductor and musician Scott Ryan to create a band that would provide elevated musical opportunities for public school students in the Hunter and Central Coast region.


Their first rehearsal was held at the Newcastle Tennis Club and within a month of formation they performed their first concert at Newcastle Christ Church Cathedral to celebrate Education Week. Twenty years later, the band is still providing exceptional music education opportunities to the region, allowing students to come together from local schools to rehearse and perform significant works in the concert band repertoire.


The ensemble has had successes at regional, state, national and international levels. This includes performances at the Sydney Opera House, Australian National Band Championships, National Eisteddfod in Canberra, and Summa Cum Laude at the Musikverein in Vienna. The band has embarked on many successful international tours, including performances at the Pacific Basin International Music Festival in Hawaii, Summa Cum Laude Festival in Vienna, Euro Disneyland in Paris and at Sister City celebrations in Ube, Japan.


In 2013, they visited the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago; they completed a successful tour of Spain and Portugal in 2018, and have travelled over 8,000km to play in rural communities in the outback of Australia.


Hundreds of young musicians across the Hunter and Central Coast have passed under the baton of conductors Scott Ryan, Michael Jobson and Charissa Ferguson, gaining priceless musical knowledge, earning international performance accolades, and making lifelong friendships.


Media contact: Department of Education Media Unit: 02 7814 1559


Images for use -



Hunter Wind Ensemble has commissioned a new work by Chris Williams and will proudly premiere "Aurora Pacifica" at the Anniversary concert. Chris is a Newcastle born and bred composer and conductor whose works have been performed throughout Australia, Europe, Britain and the United States by orchestras and ensembles including Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, London Musical Theatre Orchestra, and Joyful Company of Singers.



Steve Williams is recognised as one of Australia's most versatile and respected conductors, distinguishing himself with an impressive record of achievement in a variety of musical settings. Steve has toured the world with many of Australia's finest Symphonic Bands and Jazz Ensembles including the Hunter Wind Ensemble. We are honoured to have him back on the podium for our Anniversary Concert.




Contact details:

Department of Education Media Unit: 02 7814 1559

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