Showcase 2012, 30th August 12
Last night the Senior Stage Band performed at the South’s Showcase, an annual three week smorgasbord of local primary and secondary school talent, usually of the dancing variety.
While the SSB remained firmly attached to their spots there would have been plenty of toes-a-tapin’ in the room with the funky, boogaloo stylings of Una Mas; a mid-sixites jazz classic of a get-down-type by trumpet great Kenny Dorham.
I’ve been excited about doing this chart for a long time but, being the hardest thing we’ve yet attempted, it meant we had to approach it with the meticulousness of a Swiss watchmaker and the patience of a Trappist monk.
Months (literally) of preparation went into it.
The Trumpets were called upon the play notes they didn’t even know existed this time last year, the saxophones had to contort themselves into rhythmic filigrees that stretched the very fabric of 4/4 time, whilst the Trombones had parts that drained the very last skerrick of ink from the printer – and that was just the ledger lines.
As for the rhythm section? Gods of groove and maestros of the funky clave.
The ensemble was electrifying and the soloists superb, navigating through three key centres with aplomb. They looked great, they walked on with order and purpose and the whole enterprise (apart from an unseemly scuffle for the velvet couches in the dressing room) reeked of professionalism and confidence.
And the venue – what can I say? This kind of room for a Stage Band is like an Olympic pool for Ian Thorpe. Big band music is in the very DNA of an auditorium of this kind – it’s what they were built for. The 70’s variety show with the gags, the dancers and maybe a little magic show to go with your chives, crackers and cream cheese. Awesome.
Sure; they’ll be those who say we could have played more, but like P.T. Barnum said: always leave them wanting more. Although maybe next time we’ll consider an encore (if our chops can handle it…)