The Belvoir Big Band, based in Harby, was formed in February this year by guitarists Jon Jayes and Roger Dalby.
Since then it has grown rapidly, and already has 21 musicians from a variety of musical backgrounds and ages.
They are keen to welcome new members too. Co-founder Jon Jayes told us more.
* What made you set up the Belvoir Big Band?
I lived in Scotland for 20 years, where I played in big bands. On moving back to this area, it was practically impossible to find a guitar playing position in an established big band in the area. So the idea to start a new band from scratch was formulated over a cup of coffee with Roger at the end of 2014. Roger also plays classical guitar, and had not been in a big band before. Advertisements were placed in various outlets and attracted a number of musicians. The line-up has changed, but a hard core group have been with the band from the start. Now 21 members play with the band on a regular basis.
* Where does the band play?
Set up as a community, charity band, Belvoir Big Band plays for local or national charitable events, but also accepts private bookings to raise funds for the band. Personal development and the joy of playing varied, big band arrangements, with other like-minded musicians, is the only reward for the players. We played three gigs during 2015, and raised money for charities in Cropwell Bishop and the church at Burton Lazars. Swing, Latin, blues, R&B, jazz, pop and Rock n Roll are all played by the band, resulting in a big, powerful sound.
* Who plays for the band?
The experience of the players varies, with some already participating in other bands and/or orchestras, while others are new to the band scene. Ages vary from 16 to over 70, and both sexes are represented within the band. It was formed to encourage music in young players, and to provide an outlet for older players who either missed the musical boat in their youth or have not had the opportunity to play in later years. We play simply for the pleasure of playing, and for charity, but other engagements are considered. The band provides a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and an opportunity for personal development for members. We need more alto sax players and a musical director to help swell our numbers and to polish our sound. We rehearse at Harby Village Hall on Tuesdays, 7pm to 9pm. Anyone interested in taking part can email Kite@grianan.freeserve.co.uk