A try-out, an escapee and a lost soul….

Another good practice last night! (Apart from me taking an hour and a half to drive home….M4 closed again…)

A new double bassist, Pete, came along to try out, we audition each other on these occasions as both sides have to be pleased with what we hear! I haven’t yet heard if he’s joining us, that’ll be for my next blog post.

Dan (trombone) couldn’t make it last night, so we missed him! Still, I do think it’s good when a band member occasionally can’t come along, as we hear the music differently, and it makes us concentrate.

I’ve sourced a few interesting musical pieces for us to learn – two are still winging their way from the States, so we’re waiting impatiently, the third we had a look at last night. It’s very challenging for the alto sax though, and as Mark cannot see the musical score it’s doubly taxing for him.

Well, that’s it for……oh, the lost soul? That’ll be the saxophonist who was coming along to see if he wants to join us, but he couldn’t find room 10, so gave up and went home! Maybe we need to play louder….

A patchwork practice….

A fab practice tonight! Mike and Emma are away on holiday, so we had to cope without them….and it was difficult! Looks like they play something after all…who knew?! 😉

I thought our music tonight was a bit like a patchwork quilt, with big chunks missing. But it turned out to be a useful exercise, helping us with timings and counting bars. And Ben, our new drummer, was a huge help in this…especially to me!

We all enjoyed the practice tonight loads – we hardly stopped laughing long enough to play! It’s so good to make music with friends.

All together again – yay!

After 3 weeks away, due to ill heath and travels, I’m back at practice, seeing Mark again for the first time in…oh, I don’t know, ages! A very successful rehearsal, they’ve all been clearly working very hard, while I’ve been off slacking!

And it looks like we have a new drummer, Ben. Adam felt he had to leave us, as he couldn’t invest the time required, so Mike has been scouting around for a replacement, clearly very successfully. And we have a double bassist trying out next week, so we should be back to our full compliment very soon.

I can’t believe we’ve only started 8 weeks ago, completely from scratch – this is all so exciting!

Bedding down….

Sorry I’ve not posted for a few days – I’m away in Scotland! But we’ve had a few changes in personnel since my last blog post – comings and goings. All will be revealed when it settles down again!

In other news, the musicians had a good practice last night, and are making real progress with our music – I can’t wait to be back with them all next Wednesday!

Keeping us all in time…..

….is Adam! Adam is the youngest in our group (I don’t think I’ll get into trouble for surmising that!) He’s a local lad, from Yate and has been playing drums for nearly 10 years now. Last year, Yamaha U.K. named him as one of the best 3 drummers under the age of 18 in the south of England. He’s already played with jazz bands and brass bands all over the South West so has plenty of experience playing live.

He’s the beating heart of room 10!

Hazel, our fantastic tenor sax player!

Hazel says –

“I have always enjoyed the sound of the saxophone.  Nearly 4 years ago I decided  it was time to fulfil  a long held ambition and take it up. I was encouraged to  join a wind band which  I did some 11 months later. I play regularly with a small music group at my local church.

I love the Big Band sound and room 10 gives me the opportunity  to develop this.”
Hazel plays solo parts in some of our numbers…and sends shivers down my spine…you must come to hear her!

No singer at practice

I’m ill, so the band had a chance to practice in peace last night, without me squawking away! They all found it very useful to work through the songs in greater detail though, pulling them apart into their constituent parts, and concentrating on the tricky passages.

So the consensus was that it all went very well (cheek!)

Dan the man!

Introducing Dan, our trombonist! He has been playing the trombone for three years and has a lifelong passion for music ranging from early music to psychedelia and all points in between. Dan is particularly interested in baroque music, and was inspired by virtuosic brass writing of Handel, Purcell and their contemporaries to take up an instrument for himself.

Which is good news for room 10!

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Blowing our own trumpet!

John is our trumpet player. He’s hugely experienced, having played a brass instrument for 60 years, playing in many, many bands over this period!

John was brought up in the Salvation Army where he was taught to play cornet.  The fondest memories of his musical career were playing Christmas carols around the streets of South London with a small SA band, in which his mother played Eb Tenor Horn, and with Weston Brass in which he sat next to his son Iain who also played cornet.

He also plays Bb Cornet, Bb Trumpet, Eb Cornet, Flugel Horn, Eb Tenor Horn, Baritone, Euphonium and EEb Bass.

So much talent in room 10!

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Emma’s in the spotlight!

This is Emma, our pianist – though she plays her keyboard in room 10. Originally from Southampton, she’s been living in Bristol for the last 20 years.

Emma’s played the piano since she was 11, but she’s super-talented, and also plays the oboe and has recently taken up the alto saxophone! She’s passionate about music and wants others to enjoy music as much as she does, so for that reason is currently teaching a class of beginner musicians to play music together in a band.  She’s a busy lady!

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