Ain’t no music like it

31 Oct 2017

The rhythm and richness, spontaneity and sass of jazz brought the central city to life at the annual Big Band Festival, which took place over Labour Weekend, from Friday 20–Monday 23 October.

With five gigs in total – outdoors at Re:Start Mall, New Regent Street and the Art Gallery, and indoors at Fat Eddie’s – the Christ’s College Big Band really got into the swing and had a great time keeping appreciative audiences entertained. Year 12 student and singer William Pegg knew how to work the crowd, garnering praise for his voice and flair.

Head of Instrumental Music Nick Coxon says all members of the band proved excellent ambassadors for College. “They played extremely well, it was clear they work well together and enjoy what they do – and they acquitted themselves well, personally, as a band and musically.”

Prior to their first performance, music educator and jazz legend Rodger Fox took the Big Band for a workshop. It was an ideal way to warm up and prepare for the gigs ahead.

Up and coming drummer – and recent arrival – Year 10 student Ethan Grant says while he is still trying to get into the flow of things, starting at College, signing up with the Big Band, taking part in Rodger’s workshop and performing at the festival, has been a highlight of his time in New Zealand so far. “I’ve never been in a band where we’ve played so many different styles of music. It’s been quite a lot to take in, but he [Rodger] helped me break down each piece and change it slightly, add more feeling and develop new techniques.”

Ethan rates highly his fellow drummers, Year 13 student Josh Meads and Year 11 student Angus Murray. He enjoys working in collaboration with others and says every musician can benefit from watching different individuals and bands perform, which is why an event like the Big Band Festival is so exciting. “I like being around other people and learning from them, watching them play, noticing different techniques, magpieing from each other ... It’s great experience, building skills, working together to achieve a really good result.”