We are University of Plymouth Big Band (UPBB)! Originally set up in 2005 by a dedicated group of students who wanted a musical outlet within the University life, Big Band is a multi-award winning society that has grown in popularity and musical quality over the years. We are a very welcoming and inclusive group and allow people of any musical background or standard. All you need is interest and enthusiasm. We play everything from Jazz, Swing, Funk, Latin, Contemporary and much more!
The society has expanded over the years, and we now run 3 different groups weekly:
Big Band: Practice is on Monday evenings from 19:00 - 21:30. We play everything from Jazz, Swing, Funk, Latin, Contemporary and much more! This is the main group within the society
Function Band*: Practice is on Thursday evenings from 19:00-21:00. We play predominantly covers of popular music, with the occasional funk twist!
Small Band*: Practice is on Sunday afternoons from 14:00-16:00. This group focuses on jazz standards, with opportunities to work on improvisation for those who wish to! We also occasionally hold workshops with local professional musicians
*typically we ask that members wishing to participate in these groups - excluding singers - also have regular participation in the main band (Big Band), as this group is the main focus of the society.
We have regular gigs within the University and in the wider Devon area having performed at local bars, pubs, public events, The Student Union, University and Society Balls.
The Big Band had the incredible opportunity to play the Main Stage at Summer Ball this summer, opening the event. We also compete against other universities in the annual South West Battle of the Big Bands!
Last year we were involved in the Music Societies Showcase Evening. This was started as a chance for music societies so socialise, and showcase their hard work to other groups. We hope to be involved in this again this Spring, and to have other inter-society social events.
The Function Band became a regular at JamHouse in the SU last year, and other events, such as headlining this year's fresher festival, society balls, as well as SU organised events like Oktoberfest and Cider & Pasty festivals.
The Small Band take part in local jazz showcases in Plymouth, as well as playing for official University events such as the Vice-Chancellors Awards, UPSU Awards, graduate events and various society balls.
We also enjoy fundraising for charity through gigs, collaborating with other societies as well as annual events such as Movember. In 2022-23 we raised over £2500 for charities across the year.
We have both drinking and non-drinking socials. Our socials are organised by band members and we are always open to suggestions. We usually go to our local, The James Street Vaults, after every Big Band rehearsals on Monday where members get discounts, and on Thursdays after Function Band we tend to head over to JamHouse.
Other socials include sponsored walks, powerpoint socials, the occasional day trip, bowling, film nights and seeing live music as a group. We're also hoping to run some socials in collaboration with the other music societies this year.
Once you’ve signed up as a member, don’t forget to join our current members page on Facebook, and to join our WhatsApp group to make sure you know what's coming up each week!
Contact us, keep up to date and ask us any questions via the links below!
Joshua Akinde (Band Secretary): firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/UniversityofPlymouthBigBand/
Our Supported Charities:
Plymouth Music Zone: www.plymouthmusiczone.org.uk/
Plymouth Raise & Give Society (RAG) https://www.upsu.com/raiseandgive/
Marrow (Anthony Nolan Trust): www.anthonynolan.org/8-ways-you-could-save-life/volunteer-us/volunteering-opportunities/marrow
Marrow UPSU Society: www.upsu.com/societies/7458/
In this upcoming academic year we will be nominating new charities to support! (2023-2024)