Music in the key of fun

06 Aug 2020

The Big Band got into the groove at JazzQuest on Sunday 2 August, picking up a silver award in the annual competition for secondary school jazz bands and musicians.

Under the direction of Claire Oliver, the band presented four pieces showcasing different jazz styles and the full range of the boys’ musical talent: “Rent Party Blues”, “A Song for You”, “Orange Colored Sky” and – a special request from Year 13 student and Head of Big Band Ben Davis – “The Defibrillator”.

“It’s one of my favourite pieces,” says Ben. “We did it when I was in Year 9 in my first year in the band, and it just felt right to ask if we could do it again. It’s awesome, everyone likes it.”

This year, Ben featured as a soloist on the tenor sax, along with Year 12 student Shyam Hari on baritone sax and Year 10 student Will Sudell on the trombone. Year 12 student and vocalist Henry Briscoe made the most of his performance of the timeless “Orange Colored Sky”, and the whole band got some great feedback and useful pointers from the adjudicator.

For Ben, playing in the Big Band has been one among many highlights of his time at College and, although disappointed Southern Jam has been cancelled in 2020, he is looking forward to the upcoming Big Band Festival in Christchurch and embracing every opportunity he can to make some great jazz sounds.

“If you play an instrument and don’t play in a group it’s not nearly as much fun. I’d always encourage new people to get involved, I’ve enjoyed my time in the Big Band immensely.”