The secret of good and successful wind ensemble music?
It's a question of ability – not taste.

Wind band music today – an assessment

Horn auf leerem StuhlIt is of no use to beat about the bush:

The situation for wind bands is currently far from rosy.

There are several reasons. And unfortunately these reasons add up to an ever-increasing vicious circle.

Based on my years of observation, the following issues are crucial.

Conductors of orchestras ...
... are often left alone in their efforts. Rehearsing and expanding the repertoire, planning and organising concerts (sometimes including the (travel) management), find and train new talent, etc., etc. And all this in their spare time and often with little support. So, out of necessity, one often resorts to evergreens and all-time favourites.
Members of orchestras ...
... have rarely received proper training. Their basic skills are marginal, and this of course, poses problems for the quality of the performances and the process to learn new pieces. Therefore they prefer to stick with what they know, although they’d love to try something new.
Seminars ...
... for wind bands which could alleviate some of those problems just mentioned, are rarely and not regularly offered. Teachers in some seminar do not have the required musical and didactic knowledge. Seminars with guest lecturers teaching various styles of music constitute a considerable burden on the budget. Positive effects are only visible in the short term, if ever.

This scenario has the following consequences for wind bands and brass ensembles and their recruits:

Wind bands ...
... have a bad reputation (in Germany). Unfortunately this is still the case. It has to do with their image, but also with their performances, their repertoire, or their general appearance. And the reasons for this have already been mentioned.
Their recruits ...
... usually come from a traditional orchestra background. Attracting truly new talent or even inspiring them is becoming increasingly difficult.
Church brass ensembles ...
... and their members are trained by the church according to very one-sided traditions. Since modern music and rhythm require other playing techniques than the ones these musicians have learned, we face tremendous problems especially with regard to training the recruits. The courses offered by the Church are often taught by very good musicians. However, they are usually announced at short notice and offered at irregular intervals. In addition, the desired levels of skill are far too demanding and often exceeding the technical abilities of the musicians.
Their new recruits ...
... are coming from an even more closely defined background than in the case of wind bands: church members. To add to this, their repertoire is rather old-fashioned because of their playing techniques, so attracting new recruits is even more difficult.

I have set myself the goal to lead your wind band music to a better future together with you. Please have a look at the pages about “The Seminars for Concert bands and Wind bands” or “The Seminars for members of church brass ensembles (Posaunenchor)” to see how my work can assist you to escape the vicious circle described above.

Hugo Loosveld Portrait 3

Anyone who reads my assessment might assume that here is someone who wants to condemn something forever. This is not my intention at all.

During my whole musical career I have come to love wind band music with all my heart. It is far too important to give up and close one’s eyes to the current developments.

My aim is rather to make my experience available to all those who also love wind band music. If we work together, the seminars that I offer can help to ensure that your wind band music will have a bright future.