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Saturday, 02 March 2013
Bolton School Jazz Band are overall winners of the School Band Category of the Great North Big Band Festival. Congratulations must also go the Saxophone Section who were awarded the best section by the adjudicators.
The Jazz band performed alongside many of the UK’s best youth and university bands at the 10th Annual Great North Big Band Jazz Festival and Competition, which this year took place at the North Shore entertainment venue at Sunderland University on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of March.
The band opened the Schools' Section of the festival and the performance got off to a great start with ‘Talk is Cheap’ receiving rapturous applause. The applause continued throughout ‘The Red Door’ with a faultless section from the saxophones and a great piano solo. It was then time for the band's favourite piece of the set ‘Soul Sacrifice'. The rhythm section performed outstandingly creating a real Santana atmosphere, before ‘Out of the Doghouse’ closed their performance.
There were half a dozen schools involved in the competition and a tense afternoon followed as the band listened to many good bands and began to wonder if they had done enough to gain first place - so much so that they had already packed the van up ready for returning to Bolton when the news came through that they had won! Consequently, they had to unpack the van and play again! Pete Long who has recently been involved with Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and Paul Jones who regularly plays with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra described Bolton School Jazz Band as a "Raging Knockout". They received entirely positive feedback with highlights including impeccable presentation, performance and outstanding balance within sections. As winners, the band was invited to perform alongside Paul Jones and Pete Long in a rendition of 'Soul Sacrifice'.
Aside from competing, other highlights of the festival were the chance to participate in a workshop led by Festival Director Bill Watson and the two adjudicators Pete Long and Paul Jones. Director of Bolton School Jazz Band, Fiona Berry, said: “It was great to see all the pupils participating in the improvisation and giving it their all.” On the Saturday evening of the festival the band also got to attend an outstanding winners concert from the University Section of the Festival.
See the Jazz Band’s winning performance on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/BoltonSchoolJazzBand?feature=watch
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