Chair’s Mid-Year Mull 2016

It’s now April, and I can’t believe we’re already entering the final third of the 2015-16 academic year. My term as Chair of the band so far has flown by, but has been far from uneventful (as those who follow our social media/website will know). I thought I’d take a few minutes to reflect on what we’ve achieved so far, and what’s still to come before the year is out!

Back in the first week of Autumn term, the band and I were looking forward to welcoming new players. We had nine vacancies to fill, and after a week of auditions we were more than satisfied with the talent we found. On Thursday 15th October we welcomed Simon, Kevin and So (saxes), Calum and Dom (trombones), Tom and Miguel (trumpets), Leonard (keys) and Lydia (vocals) to the band for the first time. They settled into the big band family straight away, and I’m really impressed with the improvements and contributions they’ve been making ever since (three of them are part of next year’s 7-piece committee!). We shuffled things around a little this year to ensure we continue to have experienced players in both our A and B bands, and as a result both bands are sounding great.

Only so much fun can be had just playing with a band in a weekly rehearsal, and so we’ve been sure to get out on the road and gig a fair bit too. In addition to our traditional Christmas and Easter Union performances, as well our apparently-now-annual Queens’ Tower show as part of Imperial’s ARTSFEST, we’ve played some sweet gigs at new venues. Autumn term saw us open up Christmas at Westfield, and in Spring we joined the Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra for a big band fun at Clare Jazz, Cambridge.

But the year is far from over! In Summer term we’re looking forward to playing at the Imperial Summer Ball, as well as putting on a few more shows around the capital. Most excitingly though is what we’re calling The Great British Big Band Tour. For 10 days at the start of July, we’ll be touring the country to bring our sound to audiences at venues from London to Edinburgh – and we’re even venturing into Wales! Be sure to keep up with all tour developments here and on our social media, and we’ll hope to see you out there!

I’m looking forward to the final few months ahead, and hope we’ll see you at one show or another before the year’s out.

Published on behalf of Tom Burnell, Chair 2015-16

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