Warwick’s music appreciation societies – part 4

Big Band

Gabriel Musker, Social Secretary

If you’re looking for a society with an active social calendar that’s full of fun people and quality musicians as much as it is steeped in tradition, then Big Band is what you’re looking for. We are united in a love of jazz, swing, funk, bebop, blues, latin, pop, and curry, and like to explore all these passions in rehearsals, gigs, and across the UK and internationally on our termly tours.

My role as Social Secretary involves doing little more than finding a fun place for a social and then pointing our members in that direction. I lead the group when we circle and sit on the exec, but really my role in the band is mostly about making sure everyone’s having a good time, and is more or less alive and well. Highlights from my first year include participating in our annual pub golf, our gig and subsequent social at Coventry’s Kasbah nightclub, and our Prague tour.

The band has parts for trumpet, trombone, saxophone, keyboard, guitar, bass and drums; all these parts are un-auditioned. We also have 4 singers, who are auditioned within the first couple of weeks of term. Find us on the Warwick SU website, Facebook, Instagram, or at www.thebigband.co.uk for more information.


Chinese Orchestra

Youyou Yue, President

Warwick Chinese Orchestra Society (WCOS) consists of students who love Chinese traditional music. By aiming to merge traditional and modern music styles, WCOS means to spread the charm of Chinese traditional music culture,  and we are fond of introducing Chinese culture to more students through our music. We also work with other music societies in order to showcase a fusion of Eastern and Western styles of music.

President of WCOS, I participated in almost every concert and performance in last academic year and have made a lot of good friends who too love Chinese music. Playing musical instruments with them and performing together has been a precious experience, but more importantly the applause we received after our performances was only the beginning of new interest in Chinese music.

In the next academic year, we plan to hold more concerts, and seek more opportunities with other music societies, as well as other universities. Among others, we plan to hold a free lunchtime concert in Warwick Arts Centre in November and a solo concert in March. As long as your interest in WCOS is there, you are welcome to join us or simply attend to our concerts in the next year- we welcome everyone, whatever nationality!


Brass Soc

Annicca Prince, President

Congratulations for getting into Warwick! I’m Annicca, and I’m the president of the Brass Society here at Warwick.

Brass Society has a band for everyone. First, we have the main band for those who play brass or percussion and wish to continue the British tradition of Brass banding. Second, we have a 10-piece auditioned symphonic band for those players who either enjoy a smaller band or want to give conducting a shot, and finally a beginners band for those who might never have seen a brass instrument before! As President I organise concerts and trips away whilst making sure the rest of the exec are doing their jobs. The average member will experience a different social every week as well as various concerts throughout the year, an international tour and the opportunity for a weekend away in Bangor for Unibrass. With a weekly rehearsal, and individual mentors for beginners, everyone has the chance to enjoy playing a brass instrument!


Wind Orchestra

Alex Winterbottom, Marketing Officer

At Wind Orchestra, we believe that music should be accessible to all – especially at university, where music is an important part of peoples’ social lives and provides a welcome break from studying. We therefore have our main band, which welcomes people of all abilities, as well as Beginner’s Wind which allows people to learn an instrument from scratch or to develop their skills. We are completely unauditioned, resulting in a relaxed environment and a wide range of people involved; whether you’ve only just started learning an instrument or you’ve been playing since you were a child, we have an opportunity for you.

Wind Orchestra has been an integral part of my social life; the inclusivity of the society means you get to meet people from many different courses and years, providing a very well-rounded community of people.

If you prefer to play music with a smaller group of people, we also have our Small Bands which are currently available to clarinets, flutes and saxophones. These are great if you are looking to develop your skills or just meet a group of like-minded people. Especially for those who are not the most comfortable in large groups, the Small Bands provide a different social scene. Many of our Small Band members are also in the Main Band, but there is no pressure to join both. Our Small Bands play in both concert and at our fundraising events, where members collectively choose a charity to support. By choosing the charity as a group, we often end up supporting a charity close to some member’s hearts. This often makes the orchestra feel like a much more tight-knit community that supports one another. Two years ago, we held a 12-hour Playathon and managed to raise almost £2000 for EDS UK.

If anyone wants to get more involved in the Wind Orchestra, there are opportunities to become conductors, Small Band coordinators and obviously join the exec. I am currently the clarinet Small Band coordinator, and the Marketing Manager of the Wind Orchestra. Since starting these roles, I have felt a lot more integrated into the Wind Orchestra, as I feel that I am giving something back to the society that has already given me so much.

We have multiple concerts throughout the year, where we are conducted by our student conductors or a member of staff from the Music Centre. We play a wide range of music, all of which is suitable for varying abilities. Although many of our concerts are held at the Warwick Arts Centre and the surrounding area, we also go elsewhere in the UK for the National Concert Band Festival (where we won Gold last year) and our mini-tours. Every two years we also go on tour to a place in Europe, and spend time playing concerts in lots of different locations, including the Votivkirche and Schonbrunn Palace, both in Vienna. I myself went on the Vienna tour, and it was such an incredible trip; I now have lifelong memories from that week that I will treasure forever.

Aside from all the performances and rehearsals, the Wind Orchestra hosts a range of socials for our members to further connections within the group. From the classic POP! nights out, to very relaxed film nights, there are socials for every person so that no-one feels left out.

Joining the Wind Orchestra was and still is one of the best decisions I have made. I’ve made so many new friends and experienced so much more than I could have imagined when I showed up to Warwick 2 years ago, and I can honestly say that I would go back and do it all again.

If you are interested in joining Wind Orchestra, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter (@UWWO). Alternatively, you can email us on wind-exec@windorchestra.co.uk.


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