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.
Interested in joining?
We’d love to have you join us. Just complete the simple form here and we will get back to you.
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Praise for Music for Life
Mr and Mrs Hughes, Macclesfield
Dr Sims, Upton, Wirral
In 2 short years, my daughter has progressed to now starting work on grade 4 flute. We are absolutely delighted with this and so very grateful to Mrs Oade who has inspired and encouraged Rebekah so much. The standard of her teaching has been second to none and Rebekah has consistently undertaken her practice with no prompting. We are now re-locating and can only hope that Rebekah’s new teacher is anywhere near as excellent as Mrs Oade.
Thank you to ‘Music for Life’. Rebekah was schooled in the private sector for prep and had music lessons arranged with individual instrument teachers. The system was nowhere near as efficient and required significantly more monitoring and intervention on my part. Please do keep doing what you’re doing, I’m sure it is changing so many young persons lives for the better!
Mrs Batchelor, Chester
I just wanted to say thank you to his tutors and MfL for inspiring my son and being brilliant, encouraging teachers. It has been a great experience for him. He is autistic and we have been amazed how he has progressed. It has given him confidence and been a calming influence for him.
Mrs Lavelle, Altrincham
Your emphasis on inclusion and excellence in seemingly equal measure is really remarkable. The performances were much more joyful and committed than anything we have seen before from people of that age and experience. Your choice of music, the type of arranging and the personalities of the people you employ clearly works very well and is something of a special formula.
Mrs Sadler, Crewe
As someone who has always taken a sympathetic and supportive interest in our daughter (whom you know to be severely /profoundly deaf ) we thought you would want to know that she has won a National competition for deaf musicians! Her prize includes a 2 day Masterclass, taught by specialists of national repute and then she is playing at the Birmingham Rep Theatre. Well done Mrs Turner and Music For Life!