Forming a "Little" Big Band

Discussion in 'Jazz / Commercial' started by WaWa, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. WaWa

    WaWa New Friend

    Sep 21, 2005
    Well guys,

    I come from a small high school where we have Marching season...and concert season...and thats our ENTIRE music program.

    So I am trying to form a Big Band amongst some of the students and just have a little more fun with my trumpet. I wanted to see what you guys thought would be the bare essentials to forming a "little" Big Band.

    Right now I have in mind of a good alto, clarinet (not sure if thats a real big band instrument..but he could pull off some Benny Goodman stuff) tenor sax, and possibly barry sax, probably another trumpet and of course I would be the Maynard Ferguson of the group :D (coughs) :oops:

    Im sure my band director could provide us with some good music, or even the local community college director...

    Soo i guess what Im asking is..what else do you think I would need to form an effective group?..remember im from a small school (with about54 band students..but we have a lot of talent in there!)

    Thanks for you time,
  2. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit

    Alto--both double, flute and clarinet
    Trumpet 1
    Bone 1
    Bone 2 (optional)
    Guitar (optional)

    Eight to ten piece "little big band"

  3. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

    Mar 22, 2005
    Way to take things into your own hands!!! I remember complaining about the poor quality of my high school music program, but it sounds like your doing your best to make a pretty good situation even better. Bravo!!!
    Do you improvise? Are you interested in imporvising? If yes, you might consider thinking not of a "little big band" but rather of a "big jazz combo." If you are more interested in ensemble playing, check out the classic rhythm and horns groups, Tower of Power, Earth Wind and Fire, Chicago, etc. You might also check out the band that play on late night talk shows (Letterman with Paul Schaffer, Leno with Kevin Eubanks, Conan Obrian with Max Weinberg). Good luck!!!
  4. lonelyangel

    lonelyangel Pianissimo User

    Nov 8, 2003
    I play in a great 9/10 piece band called The Dean Street Underground Orchestra here in London. Alto, Tenor, Baritone, 2 trumpets/flugels, trombone, piano bass drums with optional guitar - I think the reeds double on soprano and flute.

    Google the band - or its leader, Tim Garland and you will find links to sites with info on where to find the CD Soho Stories - I think that most of the charts on that recording are published by chappels I think, although if you email Tim i think he may be happy to send you copies of the original parts.

    Good luck - and well done for showing some initiative in forming your own band.

    All the best. Noel.
  5. trjeam

    trjeam Pianissimo User

    Dec 5, 2003
    When I was in high school I faced your same problem so I formed my very own jazz combo, which is now the school's jazz combo..

    Anyway the instrumentation was this:

    Tenor Sax
    2 alto's (sometimes one of them would play bari)
    Drum Set

    At first I started out with writing my own charts, what happened was that our band director heard us rehersed once and was so impressed that offered to help with buying charts. She even got us gigs...

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