Šiauliai Wind Orchestra

Lithuanian wind orchestras have an old and honourable history. It is believed that war wind orchestras played in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as early as the end of the 14th century. Vytautas the Great had his own pipe orchestra. Wind instruments and their orchestras prevailed in the entire Lithuania in the second half of the 19th century.

The 8th Infantry Regiment of Vaidotas, the Duke of Kaunas, and its wind orchestra were deployed in Šiauliai shortly after the restoration of the state of Lithuania, in 1922. It was led by the famous bandmaster Bronius Jonušas. Stasys Jautakas, future founder and the leader of the Šiauliai Wind Orchestra (1906 – 1975), played in that Orchestra from 1925 till 1936. Therefore, it could be maintained that the roots of the current Šiauliai Wind Orchestra reach as far as 1922.

In 1945 S. Jautakas founded Šiauliai Musical School Wind Orchestra and led it until 1966. Then he decided that it was high time Šiauliai had a professional wind orchestra of the City. The Orchestra held its first concert for the opening of Šiauliai Park summer season on 1 May 1967.

The Orchestra has been performing in Šiauliai City and Region, and participating in traditional festivals (in Mažeikiai, Panevėžys, Kaunas, Palanga, Plungė, and other cities) along with republican championships of the wind orchestras ever since. The Orchestra has been a participant of republican and, later world, Lithuanian song festivals and it has been as a prize winner and laureate of the competitions held during the said festivals since 1970. The Orchestra successfully tours Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Russia, Germany, France, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

Šiauliai Wind Orchestra had the honour to perform together with the laureates of international competitions such as: J. Lopetaitė, J. Leitaitė, R. Vingras, an opera soloist V. Juozapaitis. Lithuanian stage legends such as A. Jarulis, J. Žukauskas, O. Karkauskaitė, T. Bigota, V. Vaškas, A. Čižauskaitė, and instrumentalists such as A. Stulgys, M. Streikutė, B. Šapiro performed together with the Orchestra. The concert programs featured such guests as E. Sipavičius, M. Vitulskis, Folk Ensemble “Salduvė”, Folk Music Ensemble “Saulė”, Youth Chamber Choir “Atžalynas”, Šiauliai Boys’ and Youth Choir “Dagilėlis”. The Orchestra collaborates with various music and art school ensembles and soloists in preparing the programs for public festivities. It has even created a program with the dancers.

30 men and 1 women both from Šiauliai and Kuršėnai, Venta, Radviliškis, Kaunas play in the Orchestra. The members of the Šiauliai Wind Orchestra used to play a vivacious music for the citizens by marching through the boulevard after work on Fridays for several years. The Orchestra used to organise 2-3 concerts per month in Šiauliai Amphitheatre. The Orchestra has been cheering the passers-by of Šiauliai City boulevard during the lunch break for several summers now.

V. Masionis, T. Kazlauskas, K. Venclova, R. Jankus, P. Čepulis, V. Stonkus, V. Pilibavičius, G. Brūzga represented the role of Art Director and Conductor of the Orchestra. Sigitas Vaičiulionis has been Art Director and Conductor while Gediminas Brūzga has been Conductor of the Orchestra since 2016. Assistant Orchestra Director – Arvydas Lingys.


Viktoras Gerulaitis, Musicologist