In the groove

14 Aug 2018

Always one of the highlights of the year, the Big Band are back, fresh from a fantastic week focusing on music, performance and fun at Southern Jam.

The band performed three vocal (“I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, “Night And Day” and “Things Are Looking Up”) and two instrumental (“Mazatlan” and “Critical Mass”) pieces in competition, picking up a Silver award. At the awards ceremony, students Nicholas Lidstone, John-Paul Lay and Ben Davis were singled out for special mention for the calibre of their playing.

Year 13 student and vocalist Will Pegg and Year 12 student and drummer Matthew Todd say the whole trip was a blast – even when National Party leader Simon Bridges gatecrashed one of their gigs and Matthew graciously stepped aside to allow him to accompany the band on the song “Feel It Still”.

They enjoyed the mix of performances and audiences, getting to know the other members of the band, the pressure of competition, improvising and improving each time they played, and the opportunity to learn from the judges, all music tutors and experts in their respective fields.

“For me, the main thing was the workshop after judging, and the advice we got from the tutors, each of them a specialist in a particular section,” says Matthew. “They could see what we’re doing and then spend time with us going through each section, talking to us as individuals, and looking at how we could improve. It was definitely one of the best parts of the whole experience.”

The band were accompanied by Director of Big Band Claire Oliver and teachers Peter Cooper and Anna Johnston. Southern Jam was held in Marlborough from Wednesday 8–Saturday 11 August, with the gala concert at Blenheim’s ASB Theatre on the Saturday evening.

Big Band 2018

John Paul Lay – alto saxophone
Jack Glass – alto saxophone
Ben Davis – tenor saxophone
Sumin Jung – tenor saxophone
Chris Park – baritone saxophone
Shyam Hari – baritone saxophone
Christopher Ireland – trumpet
Nicholas Lidstone – trumpet
Chris Lee – trumpet
Thomas McClean – trumpet
Oliver Butler – trumpet
Robert McClean – trombone
Michael Taylor – trombone
Matt Todd – drums
Ederick He – keyboard
Rory Doul – guitar
Jeremy Kinley – bass
Will Pegg – vocals

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