The Origins of the NSYWE

Formed in 1989, the Nova Scotia Youth Wind Ensemble is comprised of members drawn from provincial high schools and universities. Founded by three Nova Scotian conductors, James Hamilton Hargreaves, St. Xavier University; Ron Murphy, C.P. Allen High School; and Ron MacKay, Cobequid Education Centre, the NSYWE has provided these talented students the opportunity to study and perform advanced repertoire for wind ensemble.

Under the outstanding direction of Mr. Hargreaves, his musical leadership allowed the ensemble to grow and become one of the most prominent wind ensembles in Canada.

Under the auspices of the Nova Scotia Band Association, the NSYWE contributors musicians for the Canadian Band Association’s National Youth Band of Canada. During the scholastic year rehearsals, clinics, and concert performances are held during 4 to 6 weekends spanning September to April.

The ensemble has featured several prominent conductors over the years including Bobby Herriot, Dr. Karem Simon, Richard Bennett, George Morrison and Dr. Mark Hopkins.



The mandate of the Nova Scotia Youth Wind Ensemble is to provide an educational experience for talented young musicians presented in a manner and of a quality otherwise not available to them. The members’ music skills are improved through rehearsals, coaching sessions, clinics, and concert experiences.