Our Big Band is a jazz ensemble comprising brass, saxophones and rhythm sections – specifically, trumpets, trombones, saxophones, guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and a vocalist.
Members audition each year, with about 20 members from Years 9–13. Claire Oliver leads the band, along with teaching saxophone at College.
The band plays at school functions and in public, including the Christchurch Big Band Festival, and enters the Ara JazzQuest Competition. Among the highlights is the Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival, held in Blenheim each August, with bands competing and also performing in local venues, along with enjoying a Masterclass session. Christ’s College regularly receives a Gold award and has also won the overall Festival Winner award. College Band members are often selected for the All-Star Band, recognising the best players.
In addition, several students are selected for a Jazz Combo, where they can play more improvised charts.