Story by Big Band’s Tenor Sax, Isaac Waldin
Photographs by Arts Council students Grace Gao and Rory Merrie
Our College Premier Big Band were privileged to have the renowned and talented Dr Rodger Fox coach them over a 3-hour practise session in conjunction with the band’s Term 1 workshop recently.
Big Band’s Tenor Sax, Isaac Waldin said, “Having such an integral figure in New Zealand Jazz guide us was extremely exciting and a complete privilege. Being a university lecturer and an international jazz performer, Dr Rodger Fox knew all there is to know about good jazz playing.
“Dr Rodger gave all players helpful tips on dynamics and articulation variation throughout all our pieces as well as constructive advice on playing collectively as an ensemble. In addition to helping propel our level of playing within the Big Band with his advice, Dr Rodger also gave us all goals as musicians to work towards. We are truly grateful to have Dr Rodger coach us this term. His musical talent has inspired us all as we head into the thick of the musical year,” added Issac.
College’s Head of Music Mary Lin explained that the College’s Music Department brings in guest directors and musicians once a term in conjunction with the different music bands’ quarterly workshops to allow our student the opportunity to gain access to industry experts and tap on their knowledge and experience to enhance our student’s skillsets.
Ms Lin said, “Our Big Band has talented musicians and these workshops will provide them with the avenue to enhance techniques and refine delivery of the pieces in order for us to maintain our ranking as one of the top Auckland secondary schools in music.
“As individual musicians, we work hard to improve our own skills and practice our parts for the group, but to be able to work as a team and make good music together, there is so much more about playing together musically. Our College celebrates our ensembles, and this effort together with many others, is a step towards staying competitive and to drive our students to be the best they can be, added Ms Lin.
The four pieces the band will be playing at the upcoming Tauranga Jazz Festival and KBB Music Competition are Absoludicrous by Gordon Goodwin, Love Come Back To Me by Sigmund Romberg, Indian Summer by Count Basie Orchestra, and 702 Shuffle by Bret Zvacek.
We wish our College Big Band all the best in the competition.