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Leader :: Tom Field    Conductor :: Maurice Powell  Patron:: Charles Guard

The members of the present-day Mill Ensemble are:

Rosalind Singleton, flute; Andrew Cole,* oboe; Nigel Harrison* and Graham Platt,* clarinets; Christopher Weeks and Maurice Powell,* horns; Charlotte Unwin and Fiona Roome,* bassoons.   (* Denotes original playing member).

If you would like the Mill Ensemble to consider giving a concert in support of your local charity, school or concert society,  please contact Andrew Cole on 898377 or andrew440cole523@gmail.com. Alternatively use our contact us page.

The Mill Ensemble

The Mill Ensemble was founded in 2000 as the Island’s only permanent chamber ensemble, initially devoted to performing music for woodwind octet by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and their contemporaries. It quickly developed into a flexible ensemble to include occasional guest string players, and a repertoire which includes music from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

The ensemble was the brainchild of Wendy Smith, a fine oboist, and at that time conductor of the Manx Sinfonia, the predecessor of the present-day Isle of Man Symphony Orchestra. The original members of the ensemble were all experienced woodwind instrument players in the orchestra, a tradition that continues to this day, with five of the original musicians still playing with the ensemble.

Two of the ensemble’s core ideals remain unchanged since its foundation: the Mill Ensemble performs in the Island’s smaller and more remote venues that perhaps attract ‘classical’ concerts only rarely; each Mill Ensemble concert features a local charity with whom the ensemble is delighted to share the proceeds, after the deduction of concert expenses.

One of the most exciting and fruitful of the ensemble’s musical associations was with the late Colin Horsely, the much-loved international concert pianist, who in retirement on the Island, generously supported local musical groups. Towards the end of his life he played some of his favourite chamber works with the Mill Ensemble: the quintets for piano and wind by Mozart and Beethoven, Mozart’s clarinet trio and the piano and wind sextet by Thuille. Those of us who were privileged to join Colin in some wonderful performances, will long remember the delightful rehearsals that took place at his lovely Maughold home.

Apart from the core repertoire of works written especially for wind octet, such as Mozart’s beautiful Octet in Eb major, K.375, the ensemble regularly presents delightfully mixed programmes including arrangements of popular classical pieces such as Handel’s Fireworks Music, Warlock’s Capriol Suite and Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite; and arrangements of lighter pieces such as British and Manx folk songs, the melodies of Gershwin and Scott Joplin’s Rags.