top of page


It is with regret the committee has decided to cease operations of Shires Symphonic Wind Orchestra due to low numbers. However, Andrew Bassey owns 100's of wind band pieces and would like to use them again. Please contact Andrew if you would like to play in a wind orchestra trained by Andrew Bassey, who took Northamptonshire Orchestral Winds to perform in Carnegie Hall, New York.

The Orcherstra has had a fairly successful first 6 months going into its fantastic inaugural concerts, playing wonderful new repertiore with Andrew Bassey and Tim Reynish as conductors, and raised over £1000 for Dementia and NHS charities. However all these things were not enough and low numbers made it impossicle to carry on as a wind orchestra. However the decision was takken to continue a once a month wind orchestra and once a month as a wind ensemble. Small ensembles continued to raise money for NHS charities and raise awareness of the orchestra but still no takers.

However the orchestra will contune to meet until December 2019. The last 2 rehearsals being 7th November (with AGM) and December 5th (final Committe meeting). If however in the unlikely event of a seriuos influx of committed players for the final two rehearsals the committee is prepared to reinstate the group on a once a month basis for 2020. 

Ensembles will contiue to raise funds in 2 events this term

4.30pm 3rd November @ Treatment Centre Leighton Hospital Crewe

Featuring Shires Small Ensembles

and the Indian Choir of Great Britain

Shires Small Ensembles will also again appear at the large Tesco in Crewe on 19th December 2019 at 5pm - 7pm alongside Worleston Community Orchestra to raise more funds for charities.

If you are interested in keeping the Shires Symphonic Wind Orchestra alive once a month you should now show some commitment.

Many Thanks,

Andrew (MD SSWO & Worleston Music School)

3 tracks from the 12 track NOW Celebration CD

A Huntingdon Celebration

Northamptonshire Orchestral Winds (Celebration!)

00:00 / 04:45

Theme From Schindlers List (Violin Soloist: Jemina Clarke)

Northamptonshire Orchestral Winds (Celebration!)

00:00 / 05:00

Loch Lomond

Northamptonshire Orchestral Winds (Celebration!)

00:00 / 06:04


 led by Andrew Bassey

Day: Thursday

Time: 7.30pm - 9.30pm

Inaugral Concerts supporting NHS Charities

2nd & 9th March

Concerts include a World premiere commission

from local composer Richard Norris

Musicians Wanted for New Crewe-Based Wind Band, the "Shires Symphonic Wind Orchestra."

We are looking for players of any age who play wind instruments of the appropriate level. Are you a wind player, grade 3 and upwards who loves to play with other musicians? We’ll be playing a wide range of music, from classical and romantic to modern and jazz.

There will be a small subscription fee for players, £15 per month for adults and £5 per month for full time students and unemployed. Parking is free.

Please tell your friends, share this page and join us.

Contact us now for more information.

The Orchestra is led by Andrew Bassey Music Director and conductor.

Andrew Bassey is the Music Director of Worleston Music School (established January 2016 - check exam results). He brings years of experience, as a teacher of orchestral instruments, professional bassoonist, multi- instrumentalist and conductor. Andrew also runs Worleston Chamber Concerts alongside RNCM Alumni and other professionals such as Linda Merick, clarinetist and principal of the RNCM.

Andrew started learning brass instruments at the age of six and took up the bassoon, aged sixteen, and made such rapid progress that he was accepted at the Royal Northern College of Music two years later.

Andrew studied bassoon, conducting and Art of teaching woodwinds at the RNCM. His bassoon teachers were Graham Salvage, William Waterhouse, Ed Warren and Dave Chatwin. Andrew studied conducting with Dr Timothy Reynish and Sir Charles Groves at the RNCM, and with George Hurst at Canford Summer School.

From 1994-1997 Andrew worked in South Africa as a bassoonist, with the National Chamber Orchestra and PACOFS.

He returned to the UK and took up a post as woodwind teacher with the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Service. During eight years with NMPAS Andrew trained school bands to gain awards at the annual Northamptonshire music festival, as well as coaching over 800 of his students to success in Associated Board Exams, including a 16 year old student who achieved a Flute dipABRSM. When Matthew, Andrew's eldest son, was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3, Andrew resigned his full-time teaching post in order to have more time during the day to help care for his son.

Soon after this in 2006, he started Northamptonshire Orchestral Winds, (NOW), with a handful of players. Eight months later, with 42 players, the very beautiful NOW Celebration CD was recorded. In 2008 the band was showcased in the World Projects New York International Wind Band and Orchestra Festival concert in Carnegie Hall, New York.

Below is part of the NOW Celebration CD. This gives you some idea of what type of music the new Shires Symphonic Wind Orchestra will be playing, and what it could sound like in a very short space of time.

This is a great time to join Shires Symphonic Wind Orchestra!

Carnegie Hall, New York USA 

After this marvelous CD was produced the group went to perform in a showcase concert in the London International Concert Band Festival run by World Projects. The group were invited to USA and went on to perform in Carnegie Hall at the New York International Wind Band Festival. The programme included Schindler's List performed by Jemima Clarke on the violin. Listen below how the Wind Orchestra can accompany Jemima on the violin. The rest of the programme was L'homme Armé by Christopher Marshall and Dances from Crete by Adam Gorb. Performed to a packed Carnegie Hall ending with standing ovations lasting a considerable amount of time!

Northamptonshire Orchestral Winds ended up with 3 ability level community wind bands a Premiere Winds (very advanced Wind Band) and an advanced wind ensemble.

Audio may not work with certain browsers (like Firefox).

After you have purchased a NOW Celebration CD

Please go to contact page to fill in your address details so that we can post your CD...

If you are interested in joining the new Wind Orchestra please fill in the contact form below. or contact the Shires Symphonic Wind Orchestra


Email Address*



aproximate standard*

Prefered day/s*


SSWO aspiration for the most advanced group - please share!) If you would like to be trained in a wind group by Andrew Bassey please get in contact and when there are enough players we will start. Andrew has 100's of band pieces at all levels.

Shires Symphonic Wind Orchestra aspires to be an ensemble which promotes the happiness and well-being of all its members. We seek to play exciting and beautiful repertoire which will be challenging, interesting and educational for each player whatever their ability. To achieve this, we require more advanced players to occupy upper positions and lower ability players to play the less challenging parts. All seating and part allocation is ultimately the responsibility of the MD, as laid out in the constitution.

When it is necessary to move less advanced players up to fill gaps in the short term, then the standard of the music played must be pitched lower, which will be less interesting for the more advanced players, as it may take a little time for the group to increase in numbers and strength. More advanced players joining the group will be allocated appropriate higher positions; those who were moved up to fill gaps will then be given lower parts as appropriate, and more challenging repertoire will be chosen from the extensive NOW library.

The standard levels indicated below are approximate requirements for core band literature at Grade 5 American band standard, which we hope in time to perform.

If you are not quite up to the levels stated please contact us and we will do all we can to offer you a place.

1st Flute/piccolo Grade 8 - Diploma

2nd Flute/piccolo Grade 6 - 8

1st Oboe/cor anglais Grade 6 - diploma

2nd Oboe Grade 4 - 6

1st Bassoon/contra Grade 6 - diploma

2nd Bassoon 4+

1st Clarinet/Eb Grade 7 – Diploma

2nd Clarinet Grade 5 - 7

3rd Clarinet Grade 3 - 5

Bass Clarinet Grade 5 +

1st Alto Sax/soprano Grade 7 - Diploma

2nd Alto Sax Grade 5 - 7

Tenor Saxophone Grade 6 - Diploma

Baritone Sax Grade 6+

1st Horn Grade 7 - Diploma

2nd Horn Grade 5+

3rd Horn Grade 6+

4th Horn Grade 5+

1st Trumpet Grade 7 - Diploma

2nd Trumpet Grade 4 - 6

3rd Trumpet Grade 3 - 5

1st Trombone Grade 7- Diploma

2nd Trombone Grade 5 - 7

Bass Trombone Grade 4 - 6

Euphonium Grade 6 - Diploma

1st Tuba 6 – Diploma

2nd Tuba 5+

String Bass Grade 6+

Percussion 1 Grade 6+

Percussion 2 Grade 3+

Tuned Percussion Grade 4+

Timpani Grade 4+

Andrew has quite a number of quality percussion instruments and a substantial modern wind band library.

Interested? Contact us NOW

Andrew is also looking to eventually form an advanced Premier Winds, for Grade 8 and upwards players to tackle a much more challenging repertoire! They would probably meet one sunday each month with a concert at the end of each term. For more information, contact Andrew here.

Andrew conductor of Northamptonshire Orchestral Winds. Picture outside Band Shell, Central Park, New York, USA. At the time of their performance in Carnegie Hall.

Andrew in Nantwich entertaining at a lunchtime concert on 26th July 2018 more videos here

bottom of page