Our story

The NZYSW was formed by Andrew Stopps as part of an invitational workshop at the 2014 NZCBA National Festival. It brought together the best young musicians from across the national banding community to partake in what would be a spectacular event. The inaugural performance of the NZYSW saw James Curnow’s ‘Canticle of the Creatures’ performed to raucous applause, and thus NZYSW was created.  since then, NZYSW has continued to grow and now boasts six years of exceptional music making and incredible experiences for hundreds of young bandspeople from across our nation.

The vision has always been to provide musical, personal and leadership growth and opportunities through regular rehearsals/workshops and performances over the season under professional guidance. We aim to foster and encourage lifelong performance skills, friendships, contacts and education for future generations of wind and percussion musicians. A primary focus of NZYSW is building strong communities and encouraging participation from everyone. Music is a language spoken by many from all walks of life and we aim to celebrate that by encouraging diversity amongst our membership.

Today, NZYSW aims to be New Zealand’s premier youth wind ensemble. It is open to young musicians who are 15 to 18 years of age.  Successful members will have the opportunity to train, excel and perform on their chosen instrument at the highest level with some of the best instrumentalists, educators and directors from both here in Aotearoa and abroad.