Director: Ben Dowsett
Membership requirements: grade 7 and above by invitation
Rehearsals: Thursdays, 7.00-8.00pm
West Sussex Youth Big Band performs a range of different styles of Big Band jazz. Rehearsals are led by Ben Dowsett with visiting professional jazz musicians helping to work on specific skills. This term we are working on some staples of the Big Band repertoire: the funk classic US by Thad Jones; Flight of the Foo Birds a fast swing number; the American jazz standard Caravan composed by Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington; a big band arrangement of Dave Brubeck’s rhythmically challenging Blue Rondo a la Turk; Straighten Up and Fly Right, the Nat King Cole classic.
Ben Dowsett is an experienced teacher, composer, and musical director. He studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, going on to study music further at both Cambridge University and Surrey University. For many years he was head of music at Farnborough Sixth Form College where he directed the big band and other jazz ensembles, taking them on trips to Poland, Germany, and France, including performing at the famous Jazz festival in Marcia, France. He is currently Director of Music at The College of Richard Collyer and is head of the West Sussex Music Academy. Ben is an experienced brass player, having playing tuba, trombone and euphonium in several big bands, concert bands and orchestras across London as well as playing tuba in a brass quintet and jazz dectet.