Genesis and ethos of the band
Fleetville Swing Band is a not-for-profit organization which forms part of a wider community orchestra, the Fleetville Community Band, based in Fleetville, St Albans. Brought together by a local resident, the late Paul Olive, who's vision was that community bonds can be strengthened by making music together, Paul encouraged players of all strengths and ages to come together and perform once a year at the Fleetville Festival. FSB continues that tradition, continually striving to improve musically, welcoming players of all ages (mainly over the age of 18) and abilities, and providing a supportive environment for those who may be new to a Big Band, jazz-orientated repertoire. You can learn more about the band in this interview on local radio station Verulam Radio - here.
Our income comes from paid gigs and members’ subscriptions (currently £5/month for working adults). These funds are used to pay Fleetville Swing Band's costs including rehearsal venue hire, equipment maintenance, printing, PAT testing etc.
The Fleetville Swing Band repertoire includes standards from the Swing Era but also includes some bossas, Dixieland rhythms, and contemporary numbers.
There are currently 30 or so regular members of the band who meet twice a month to rehearse. While we continually strive to improve musically, we enjoy welcoming players of all ages and abilities and provide a supportive environment for those who may be new to a big band, jazz-orientated repertoire.
We aim to be representative of the local community. Unfortunately, we are currently oversubscribed and are having to run waiting lists for instrument sections which are full (at the present time, this is all sections except trombones!). However, from time to time, places do become available and we recruit by instrument. We aim to hold an event each year where members of the local community can join and take part in a rehearsal or performance event.
Our Musical Director
Local teacher, musician and guitarist Bob Power is our musical arranger/conductor. He bringing his vast experience and expertise of bands of all sizes.
The Fleetville Swing band's emblem has changed. We used to use a picture depicting a circle of instruments surrounding the city of St Albans crest. Each instrument represents a member, or a section in the band. Paul (our founder) is commemorated in this emblem by the olive in the semiquaver.
However, this emblem proved to be a very difficult image to reproduce well on promotional material, so we decided to replace it with the cleaner simpler black and white image. We still retain the words "Community through music" because we see it as one of the most important aspects of what we do.