Next in the music societies series we’re introducing the two instrumental ensembles, ‘the two Bs’ – Big Band and Brass Society.
The University of Warwick Big Band is a non-auditioned society made up of both undergraduates, postgraduates, as well as being open to members of the local community. We play an exciting and varied repertoire from swing, funk and blues to pop classics and regularly perform both on and off campus. Last year we played an impressive 40 gigs, including our annual Hornography event at Zephyr Lounge, The Real Ale Festival in the Copper Rooms, society balls, such as Law and BioPhys ball and our end of year Finale Concert in the Warwick Arts Centre.
Alongside the music, socials are a massive part of Big Band life and are a great way to meet new people and make friends – we are a friendly, outgoing, diverse bunch! After rehearsals, we can always be found in the Dirty Duck. We have numerous larger socials each term, which include Skool Dayz, nights out in Leamington and Coventry, fancy dress (the more outrageous the better), pub crawls, meals out, end of term socials and the annual Music Centre Ball. Every year there are also three tours – last year we toured to Brighton and Sheffield on our termly mini-tours, as well as Amsterdam on our annual summer tour. Highlights include a joint gig with the Dutch band ‘The Jazz Warriors’!
Over the years Big Band has won many prestigious awards, including being awarded Platinum (the highest accolade) at the National Concert Band Festivals for three years in a row. Furthermore, a highlight of last year was recording our Album ‘Kind of Purple’.
The Band remains of a high musical standard, but is also a way to have fun playing and enjoying music. If you would like to join Big Band, please come along to one of our rehearsals, held on Thursdays at 7.30pm in the Avon Drama Studio at the Westwood Music Centre. If you don’t play an instrument, but would like to see us at one of our upcoming gigs, give us a like on Facebook to keep up to date on what we are up to!
Brass Society is a society for anyone who plays, or is interested in playing, a brass instrument. We currently have four ensembles. Our Main Band is a full sized, professionally conducted brass band, which is open to all brass and percussion players. The band puts on a number of concerts every year and competes regularly in local and national contests including UniBrass, an inter-university brass band contest. We also have a high quality student led brass dectet, Symphonic Brass. This ensemble is auditioned, and plays a huge variety of music, from film scores and classical music to jazz standards and pop hits. Quintet playing is also a big part of Symphonic Brass, with our brass quintets performing annually at the graduation ceremonies. BrassSoc also caters to people who are completely new to the world of brass playing. Beginners Brass is an ensemble for absolute beginners – members are given an instrument and free tuition by more experienced players. After learning the basics, members then graduate to the Intermediate Brass ensemble, which is also perfect for brass musicians who haven’t played in a while.
Of course, there’s more to the society than just playing, and BrassSoc has a full and varied social calendar, highlights of which include bar crawls, weekends and tours away, and the famous annual Pudding Social! The main aim of BrassSoc is to give everyone an opportunity to get involved in music while at Warwick. All of our members would agree that music has been a huge part of their university life, giving them new experiences and helping them meet great people
We’re open to anyone, and regardless of your ability, we’ve got the perfect ensemble for you. So, if you fancy blowing your own trumpet, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We’ve got an exciting year ahead of us, including the launch of a new Lower Brass ensemble, and a concert with soprano cornet sensation Kevin Crockford, so there’s no better time to join BrassSoc. To get involved find out more about what we do, you can visit our website, find us on Facebook or Twitter, or email us.