By Sean Bowes
The Wesley Chapel Wind Ensemble (WCWE) is a group of about 60 amateur musicians who have been playing together locally since 2008. The group started out small (as a brass quartet), but continues to grow and evolve into a well-respected “concert band.”
The group is composed of roughly half woodwinds (flutes, clarinets and saxophones) and half brass (trumpets, French horns, trombones and tubas) in addition to three percussionists. Originally, the Ensemble rehearsed at Hyundai of Wesley Chapel on S.R. 54, which donated a place to play while the group was still small (10-15 members). However, the WCWE recently began playing and practicing at the Crossroads United Methodist Church on County Line Rd., a mile or so west of Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
WCWE’s director Scott Leahy says the band’s chemistry is what makes them play so well together, which is notable considering the age differences between some of the musicians. The oldest member of the WCWE is an 83-year-old trumpet player and the youngest is a 13-year-old flutist. According to Leahy, between 15 and 20 of the members are students from the Wesley Chapel and/or New Tampa area.
“It’s really quite wonderful,” Leahy says. “The adults get inspired by the kids and the kids are mentored by the adults. They play together well and it sounds really great.”
The concert band has players from many different local schools in the area including Wiregrass Ranch High and John Long , and Thomas E. Weightman Middle Schools.
Recently the 60 musicians of various ages from the music ensemble performed a concert during the New Tampa YMCA’s Fall Harvest Festival on October 29, which was free to the public. The community concert band performed some classic as well as a few recognizable songs from movies and television shows.
“It’s a wonderful outreach for the kids and for the group,” says Leahy. “We have some wonderful talented musicians here. We’re just trying to get out there and let people know were here.”
Students and adult musicians are invited to join the Wesley Chapel Wind Ensemble. All levels of players are welcome. Rehearsals are Thursdays 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Crossroads United Methodist Church, 26211 County Line Rd. For information, visit WesleyChapelWindEnsemble.com.
Upcoming Performances By The WC Wind Ensemble
• Holiday Concert on Saturday, December 3, 8 p.m., at the Shoppes at Wiregrass mall on S.R. 56
• Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sunday, December 4, 1 p.m.-4 p.m., with tree lighting around 5:45 p.m., at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, 7050 Gall Blvd.
•Sunday service on Sunday, December 18, 10:30 a.m., at Crossroads Community United Methodist Church, 26211 County Line Rd., Wesley Chapel.