Dunbartonshire Wind Ensemble


Dunbartonshire Wind Ensemble

DWE was formed in February 1974, known then as DCWE – the Dunbartonshire County Wind Ensemble. The Dunbartonshire County Concert Band (DCCB, now DCB) had been running since 1973 and with numbers reaching over 80, the DCWE was formed for the younger and less experienced members joining.

Trevor Green, then a professional in the BBC SSO, became the first musical director of DCWE, with the band later dropping the word “county” from the name and becoming the Dunbartonshire Wind Ensemble, DWE.

For the first five years the two bands played many concerts together in venues such as the City Halls, often alongside other musical groups such as the Bearsden Borough Choir and the New Kilpatrick Singers.

Over the years DWE has seen hundreds of young players, beginner adults, and more experienced players joining to improve their playing, learn how to play in an ensemble and take part in many concerts.

DWE is now in its 50th year and still going strong, with over 60 current players.

Alongside DWE, three other musical groups have formed out of the players within in the band: New Sounds, Blowing in the Wind and Monday Swing.

New Sounds

New Sounds was formed in 1982, as an offshoot of DWE, to allow younger and less experienced players the chance to play in a smaller ensemble. Musicians aged 8 to 14 learned the different styles of music, and honed their ability to play in an ensemble through rehearsals and concerts. Lawrence Gill was the first conductor of New Sounds.

Blowing in the Wind

Blowing in the Wind was also formed in 1982, as a chamber wind group made up of a dozen or so of the more experienced members of DWE. The intention behind the group’s formation was to foster and encourage the wider development of the skills and musicianship of these young players. The repertoire of Blowing in the Wind concentrated principally on arrangement of classical pieces, but also reflected the breadth of musical styles of DWE with arrangements of modern popular themes and tunes.

Monday Swing

Monday Swing was formed in 1984 as an opportunity for members to practice and perform music written in the ‘swing’ or ‘jazz’ style of music for dancing, which originated in America around 1935. The band’s library of arrangements echoed the music introduced to the listening and dancing public by the bands of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Glen Miller.

Monday Swing ran until 2020.

Musical Directors of DWE (a work in progress)

Trevor Green                          February 1974 – August 1985
Andrew (Andy) Hunter           August 1985 – ?
Kevin Price                             1990 – 2005
Robert Baxter                         2004 – August 2019
Michelle McCabe                   August 2019 – present