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What's in a band name?

Discussion in 'The Community Band' started by Gandalfe, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Admin and all around good guy. Staff Member Administrator

    There are so many community bands in the Northwest (Seattle and surrounds) changing their names from Xxx community band to Xxx concert band. Apparently community bands have gotten a bad rap? Not sure what that's about. But I suspect it's those band that let anyone play, even if the candidate doesn't have the chops, doesn't practice and mostly considered a community a fraternal organization?
    TrueTone likes this.
  2. I play in a "community symphonic band". I have no idea where the "symphonic" tag came from. The musical skills range from excellent to almost adequate (me).

    A couple of years ago a strong reed man joined us. After three pieces we had a conversation:
    He: "Has anyone told you you're a good clarinetist?"
    Me (flattered): "No."
    He: "Did you ever wonder why?"
  3. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

    I'm not sure why either, but I've noticed that too here.
    The two major (community, so not things like school or the Army band here) bands in our area don't use community in their names, those being Twickenham Winds and Huntsville Concert Band. (And some in the surrounding cities. One I do remember has community band in the name, and there's a community orchestra there too.)
    There's also one during the summer I play in to help conducting students, which is also really nice to play in.
    (Urgh this is making me want to have a regular ensemble to play in. I haven't had one since mid July and band camp starts on the 8th at USM. The next time I'll get to play a concert here is Twick in May probably...wish it could be sooner...maybe I'll send in a suggestion or 5 and hope that we can play 1 in May.)
    Gandalfe likes this.
  4. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Admin and all around good guy. Staff Member Administrator

    TrueTone, you know what I think about that. I can't count the number of hobby bands I've started or help start. But my all-time fav is MJJO, now in it's 14th year and cutting our second CD in September. And my sax quartet that plays one gig a year is fun too. But then I'm livin' in a musician's mecca with so many talented people still doing their thang.
    TrueTone likes this.
  5. TrueTone

    TrueTone Clarinet, Sax, Oboe, History

    I would try to start one here, but I'm not sure there's much point in doing so if I'm here for less than a week until college.
    ...When I'm there at least I'm definitely going to have a lot of ensembles I can play in though. =P
    Gandalfe likes this.
  6. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Admin and all around good guy. Staff Member Administrator

    Oh lucky you, college can be an incredible time. 40+ years later and I still remember my college daze! Good luck.
    TrueTone likes this.
  7. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Admin and all around good guy. Staff Member Administrator

    In the last ten years in the Seattle area the names of many of the hobby bands have gone from Xxx Big Band to Xxx Jazz Orchestra. I was always told it couldn't be an orchestra unless there was an upright bass. Years ago I changed the name of my band from Microsoft Jazz Band to Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra. I was told by a venerable musician who fronted a big band in Seattle for years that having the word "jazz" in a band title was the kiss of death for booking.
    TrueTone likes this.
  8. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Well, for a "jazz orchestra," I'd say that an upright bass would be good enough to transform from "band," considering what separates "band" from "orchestra" is just the presence of stringed instruments. However, I'm pretty sure that I've seen some "big bands" that had the saxophone players double on strings or had a few extra folks that'd come in to use strings, like this or this.

    Now, regarding the "jazz" in the name, first <insert obvious Microsoft-related joke here>. Second, well ... if you're only jazz, I'd expect it in your name. I'd hate to go to see a group called "The Seattle Orchestra" and find out that it's an evening of Kenny G classics. :p
    Gandalfe and TrueTone like this.
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