Big band in the big time

First published in Education

A Hampshire school jazz band is among the top ten in the country after being selected to play in a prestigious festival.

For the second consecutive year, The Mountbatten Big Band has been selected to perform in the finals of the National Festival of Music for Youth, in Birmingham, in July.

Head of Music, and the band's musical director, Stu Marchant said: "It is a huge honour for the band to be selected for the second year running. It is an astounding achievement for our young musicians, especially when you consider that we are an 11-16 school. All of the other bands are from schools that have a strong sixth form presence, meaning that their players will be two years older than ours."

The 21-strong group of young jazz musicians, from years 9 to 11 rehearses every Friday after school.

Assistant Director Jahan Hunter says of the band, "I am so proud of these guys. They are playing at a standard comparable to my university Big Band. They are amazing!"

The band will play three pieces at Birmingham Town Hall on July 12 - The Opener by Carl Strommen, New Directions by the local composer and jazz musician, Dan Mar Molinero and Cute by Neal Hefti.

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