Since its inception in 1977, the Singapore Wind Symphony (SWS) has played a central role in the development of the wind band music scene in Singapore. First established as the National Theatre Symphony Band (NTSB), it was the first amateur Symphonic Band in Singapore comprising musicians from all walks of life, many of whom go on to become music teachers and band instructors in Singapore.
The SWS has worked with many locally and internationally renowned conductors and soloists including, Mitsuo Nonami (Japan), Ho Hwee Long (Singapore), Mr. Luk Hoi Yui (China), Hardy Mertens (Netherlands), Jan Van der Roost (Belgium), Satoshi Yagisawa (Japan), Dick Lee (Singapore), Johan De Meij (Netherlands) and Joseph Alessi (USA). The band has also participated in numerous international competitions such as a prestigious World Music Contest in 1992 where it received the Gold award and was the top scorer in the Symphonic Band division, and once again in 2001 when it won the First Prize in the First Division. The band has also represented Singapore internationally at the Janitsjarfestivalen in Hamar, the Conference of the Asia Pacific Band Directors’ Association (APBDA) and has performed in such renowned locations as the Sydney Opera House, the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts (HKAPA) and the Esplanade Concert Hall. In 2013, the SWS will be featured in the finale concert of the 8th Annual Taiwan International Clinic in Taipei presenting the Asian premiere of Johan De Meij’s Symphony No. 4 “Symphony of Songs” under the baton of the composer.
For more than three decades, the SWS has represented the highest level of music making in wind music in Singapore and has earned an international reputation as an ensemble of excellence. Under the leadership of its current Music Director Adrian Tan since 2012, the SWS embarked on the journey to champion and promote the music of Singaporean composers, and extending from that vision, to be an advocate for wind band music by local, Southeast Asian and Asian composers. Since then, the SWS has commissioned and given the world premiere of more than 50 original compositions and arrangements, working with more than 25 local composers. Many of these works have already found their way into the repertoire of local and international school and community bands.
Singapore Wind Symphony is a recipient of the National Arts Council’s Major Grant from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2017.