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Big Band Tour of Palmerston North

As part of Winter Tournament Week, the School's award-winning Big Band travelled to Palmerston North for a three-fold mission - to attend a workshop with pre-eminent jazz educator Dr Rodger Fox, do a combined concert with Palmerston North Boys High School and record a full studio album.

Upon arriving in Palmerston North, the band went straight in a workshop with Dr Fox, focusing on working through the conventions of ensemble playing, stylistic approach to swing charts and also funk, supporting a soloist and improvisation skills.

The combined concert with the Palmerston North Boys High School Big Band featured sets from both bands before combining for a spectacular finale under Dr Fox. Vocalist Watson Filikitonga showed off their skills with performances of Things Ain't What They Used To Be, Thing of Gold and Fish in the Sea by Fat Freddy's Drop, which included some of his signature dance moves. Click here to read a full review from the Manawatu Standard.

The following day, the students went into Creative Sounds - The Stomach for a full day's recording. With the goal to lay down eight tracks, the album would become a representation of work from the the last two years and the level the group has developed to.

The band rose to the occasion after a total of 8 hours including set up, sound check, laying the tracks and overdubbing vocals. Both the team at The Stomach and the students were immensely proud of the session and stoked with the quality of the recordings, even before mixing and mastering.

The album, Thing of Gold, will be available from the Big Band later this year.