Souza Winds were formed in 2005 whilst all members were studying at the Royal Northern College of Music. Since then they have gained an enviable reputation for outstanding musicianship, exciting collaborations, inspiring educational work and engaging recitals. They have performed live on BBC Radio 3 and RTP Antena 1 and made multiple TV broadcasts for BBC 1 and RTP Madeira.
During 2012 they were awarded the Dorothy Parkinson Memorial Award and in June 2009 they were awarded the inaugural June Emerson Wind Music Launchpad Prize. Preceding this they were semi-finalists of the 2008 Royal Overseas League Annual Music Competition and were invited to participate in the Tunnel Trust’s Blair Athol 2008 Showcase. 2012 also saw Souza Winds selected as featured artists for the Making Music Concert Promoters Network booklet.
Since their inception they have worked closely with living composers; commissioning new works from colleagues in Manchester, including works for Wind Quintet and Live electronics. After a performance of Colin Matthews Five Concertinos for Wind Quintet they were invited to work with Colin and perform the work at the Bridgewater Hall. More recently they performed world premiers of 8 works commission by York Late Music for Souza Winds.
Concert performances and broadcasts have seen Souza Winds perform throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Portugal. Notable performances have included Harrogate International Festival, Lake District Summer Music, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, Ripon International Festival, Lake District Summer Music, Manchester Jazz Festival and Funchal 500 Annos Festival. The Nottingham post describing their recital as displaying “a masterly show of instrumental playing.”
In July 2009, after hearing Souza Winds perform, Jazz double bassist and composer Matt Owens invited the group to collaborate with him for a project of original music. This led to the critically acclaimed performance of ten in the 2009 Manchester Jazz Festival.
“it was an inspired choice to team up with Souza Winds” Chris Ackerely, The Sound of Now
Since 2009, Souza Winds have performed over 150 workshops and masterclasses across the North of England. The majority of this work was undertaken for the musical charities Live Music Now and Music in Hospitals. Three members of the Souza Winds have subsequently been invited to be musicians in residence three of the regions Specialist Schools.
Accompanying their work within the quintet, each member of Souza Winds enjoys a successful career in orchestral music, collectively having performed with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Ensemble 1010, Lancashire Sinfonietta, Northern Ballet Sinfonia, Welsh Chamber Orchestra and Sinfonia Cymru.
Members have also undertaken trial periods for jobs with the Hallé, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestra of Opera North and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Souza Winds are:
Carla Sousa – Flute
David Benfield – Oboe
Lucy Rugman – Clarinet
Lucy Keyes – Bassoon
Jonathan Harris – Horn