Who can join the society?
Anyone can join the band, whether you’re a student at the university, a member of staff, or just someone who lives nearby and loves a jam. All you need to do is sign up on the SU website and turn up to our rehearsals, and then you’re a fully-fledged member of the band! Easy. It’s so simple precisely because Big Band is an inclusive music society where only singers are auditioned – if you want to play jazz and have a good time, we want you in the band!
We rehearse in the Ensemble Room in the Music Centre (which is part of the Arts Centre on central campus) from 7:30pm until 10pm every Thursday during term time. Feel free to come along whenever you’d like, as you don’t have to sign up in advance – just grab your instrument and come along!
If you’re unsure about joining, below is an insight into what makes us great.
WE’RE A FRIENDLY, INCLUSIVE, NON-AUDITIONED SOCIETY
Whether its your first time picking up a musical instrument, or you’ve been playing your whole life, there’s something for you in Big Band. Regardless of ability, we provide many performance opportunities, and find new ways to challenge all our members. If you’ve never played in front of a crowd before, there’s no need to worry – we rehearse weekly, and gigs are done on a signup basis, so you can commit as much or as little as you’d like.
Our typical lineup includes trumpets, trombones, saxophones, guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, and additional percussion – if you play any of these or a similar instrument you’ll find there are plenty of opportunities for you in the band. We also hold auditions for singers at the start of the academic year – keep an eye on our social media for more details.
WE OFFER MANY MUSICAL OPPORTUNITIES
We have a wide variety of gigs throughout the academic year, including society balls, our infamous ‘unplucked’ gigs at the Dirty Duck Pub on campus, formal concerts, and a number external gigs for weddings and private events. As well as our regular big band rehearsals, we run a weekly small band jam for our members. These are relaxed sessions where players can have a go at improvising over their favourite jazz standards, or take part in practicing functions band tunes. The small band is open to all members and provides many opportunities to perform at gigs and functions.
WE GO ON TOUR THREE TIMES A YEAR
As a member of big band you have the opportunity to join us on our termly tours. Twice a year we travel to another city in the UK for a weekend – in the past we have enjoyed trips to Nottingham, Manchester, London, Bristol, Brighton, York, and many more places across the country! While on tour you can enjoy exploring a new city and take part in the band’s nights out, before typically joining another university big band for a concert. Every summer the big band travels to another country for a few days – past locations have included Italy, Switzerland, Canada, France, Amsterdam, Spain and Belgium – where we get to see some stunning locations and get a taste for another country’s jazz culture!
WE HOLD REGULAR SOCIAL EVENTS
We’re a friendly bunch and usually find we have more in common than just music! We run numerous social events for our members, and these are a great way to make friends in the band and talk to like-minded musicians. Socials could involve going to see professional live music, or meals/activities in Coventry and Leamington Spa. As well as this we have weekly pub trips after rehearsal, and regular nights out in the SU – chances are there’s something here for you (but if not we’re always open to suggestions from our members for new places to go and things to see).