Christmas Swingalong brings the term to a festive conclusion

Colyer-Fergusson Hall was packed to the rafters yesterday evening, for the now traditional Christmas Swingalong featuring the University Big Band. Led by a charismatic Ian Swatman, the band launched into a festive programme of popular favourites, including a sassy rendition of Santa Baby from our very own Music Administrator, Sophie Meikle, who sashayed from the percussion section forwards to deliver a teasing performance. Elsewhere, first-year Doug Haycock crooned his way through Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song, and saxophonist Peter Cook joined Sophie later on to sing Baby, It’s Cold Outside, in which both singers were clearly having far too much fun.

WP_20151216_011Interspersed with the Big Band’s light-footed jazz were communal carols from the Brass Group, standing arrayed along the front row of the choral-risers and themselves joining in the spirit of the gig with Christmas jumpers. Honestly, you’ve never seen such a vast collection of seasonal knitwear outside M&S…

Swingin’ Sophie…!

A clearly delighted audience wouldn’t let the band depart without an encore, to which the group responded with a deft version of ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,’ before audience and performers decamped to the foyer for post-gig mulled wine and mince pies. There was even some suitably seasonal headgear being sported by some of the audience too…

Phoebe’s hat-trick…

The Big Band’s Christmas gig is always a favourite amongst audience and players alike, with a vibrant and celebratory atmosphere drawing the department’s term of music-making to a close. It’s been a terrific term; on behalf of the team here, huge thanks to all the students, staff, alumni and external members for your commitment and participation over the course of the autumn – we couldn’t do it without you. And as the sound of the Big Band recedes into the distance, it simply remains for me to say, as the band themselves did last night; have yourselves a merry little Christmas!WP_20151216_008

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