The One and Only – Helsinki Police Symphonic Band
Helsinki Police Symphonic Band
is a professional symphonic band comprising 43 musicians. The band has been performing for over 70 years. It represents the Finnish Police through music in different events nationally and internationally and is especially known for its versatility. In addition to wind compositions, the band’s repertoire includes folk music, jazz, rock, pop and children’s music. The band and its smaller assemblies perform at events of the Finnish Police and its stakeholders, in addition to hosting their own concerts.
Helsinki Police Symphonic Band was founded in 1947 to promote relations between citizens and the police. Its earliest configuration comprised 14 musicians, who performed Viennese waltzes, opera pieces, and Finnish concert music and marches. Throughout the years, the band has been directed by many famous conductors, such as Georg Malmstén, Arthur Fuhrmann, Petri Juutilainen and Esko Heikkinen. Since 2012, Sami Ruusuvuori has worked as the band’s chief conductor.
Preventative work has been important for the Helsinki Police Symphonic Band throughout its existence. The full orchestra performs over 100 awareness-raising concerts aimed at children and teenagers every year all around Finland. The smaller ensembles Nallekopla and Leijonapartio (Lion Patrol) perform at primary schools and day cares. The themes of the ‘Kutsu poliisi 112’ children’s concerts are traffic safety, bullying and other subjects relevant to children. In secondary schools, the band performs the ‘Pidä huolta!’ (Take Care!) concerts, with bullying, social media, sexual autonomy and substance abuse as themes. In 2019, the ‘Pidä huolta!’ concerts organised in Southern Finland had an audience of 11,000 teenagers in total.
The Finnish Wind Band Association granted the Wind Band Of The Year 2020 -award to Helsinki Police Symphonic Band. During the exceptional year with the pandemic, Helsinki Police Symphonic Band succeeded to spread the awareness of the concert band music to completely new areas.
Helsinki Police Symphonic Band regularly tours in Finland and works together with all Finnish police departments. The band has performed around Europe, for example, in Sweden, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Germany and France. It has published several recordings and has had the honour of premiering several Finnish works from composers such as Marzi Nyman, Timo Forsström, Pessi Levanto, Jukka Linkola and Timo Alakotila.