Cheshire Youth Big Band

About the group

This band, run in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council, is gaining a reputation as one of the most outstanding and exciting bands for up and coming young musicians in the UK. In 2013, twelve outstanding jazz composers (including Mike Gibbs, Stan Sulzman, Andy Schofield and former Music for Life students Sam Rapley and Jamie Safiruddin) were commissioned to write new music especially for this band through an Arts Council project, music that is now available for other bands up and down the country to borrow. Music for Life students performed this new music with special guest Mike Walker on guitar at the Manchester Jazz Festival to rave reviews – see what the critics said here.

See videos of the band in action and here short audio clips on our video page.

The band only meets once a month (usually 10 rehearsal over a year) on Saturdays from 10am to 3:15pm at Hartford High SchoolChester Road, Northwich CW8 1LH.

Members come from right across Cheshire and beyond – currently, one member travels from Bradford because he says there is nothing like this band in his area! See some thoughts of former band members and professional musicians about what this band offers here.

Students who are of the following standard would be invited to attend an informal audition, should places be available.
Saxophone around Grade 6 or higher.
Trumpet, cornet, trombone (bass clef) : around Grade 5 standard or higher
Keyboard player: Grade 7 standard or higher
Guitarist: good experience, interest in jazz / blues and sound knowledge of chords. Some basic reading would be a minimum requirement.
Bass Guitarist: few years’ experience, able to read bass clef, interest in jazz / blues and some knowledge of chords.
Drums: Good experience, reading ability, real interest in jazz / blues

What is the cost of membership?

The group is run in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council and, in common with all other Cheshire Youth ensembles the Local Authority makes an annual membership charge. Students in full time further or higher education are not currently charged, and there is significant support available for families facing hardship. Full details will be sent should you register an interest.

How do we join?

Just send us an email (below) or phone 01978 761162 to register an interest. We will then contact you.