City Lit Big Band

Course Dates: 13/01/24 - 23/03/24
Time: 15:30 - 17:30
Location: Keeley Street
Our ensemble for proficient jazz players to improve and maintain sight reading and section work, playing music from the classic era of Big Bands plus contemporary and original arrangements. Contact the Music Department to enquire about availability of places for your instrument and to arrange your audition.
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Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £129.00
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City Lit Big Band
  • Course Code: ME637B
  • Dates: 13/01/24 - 23/03/24
  • Time: 15:30 - 17:30
  • Taught: Sat, Daytime
  • Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Simon Henry

Course Code: ME637B

Choose a start date  

Sat, day, 13 Jan - 23 Mar '24

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Before booking on this course, please arrange a chat with our team to check that this course is the right level for you.
Why do I need an advice session?

Call us on 020 4582 0412

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

We will play and learn complex arrangements which include parts that are technically challenging. Rehearsals will focus on section and ensemble playing, and interpretation. We aim to prepare for a gig.

What will we cover?

- Suitable arrangements for Big Band from all sources
- Attention to improving our ensemble playing
- Taking solos within the body of an arrangement
- preparing and organising for performance.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Understand how an ensemble of this size operates and rehearses
- Improve and maintain your sight-reading and ability to rehearse effectively
- Learn typical and unusual Big Band repertoire
- Take short solos where arrangements present such.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

You should have a minimum of 10 years playing experience including ensemble or small group playing, and an ability to sight read in swing and Latin time feels. Jazz education will be of advantage.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Lesson will be as for band rehearsals and will include playing warm-ups, section rehearsal, working on specific parts of arrangements and then complete play-throughs. Also sight-unseen playing and improvising.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Bring your instrument if other than piano or drum kit. Amplifiers are supplied.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You may continue in City Lit Big Band.

Simon Henry

Simon played piano, recorder and clarinet at school. While training as an architect, he started teaching himself alto sax and played in rock and punk bands and on demos. With friends, Simon formed studio band Haysi Fantayzee, started an 8-piece band that gigged on the university circuit, and joined Jamie Wednesday, which recorded and regularly gigged around the country. When Jamie Wednesday folded, Simon focused on performing as a saxophonist, especially with the Tony Douglas Big Band, and also studied conducting, harmony and flute. He became director of the Music Works Big Band in Brixton, which evolved into The BAC Big Band, and co-ran a weekly jam session in Great Portland Street that attracted many rising players on the London jazz scene. His house band, Raising Standards, evolved into Volume One, a septet performing original compositions. After a PGCE at Goldsmiths, Simon taught at Battersea Technical College, Ilford County High School and Hackney Free and Parochial School, and became tutor for City Lit Big Bands, which he has directed since 1996. He has also taught woodwind at Morpeth Secondary School, Highbury Fields School, and City & Islington College.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.