Christchurch 2013


The Christchurch Big Band Festival was reinstituted this year after a two year break following their earthquakes. The Liberty Swing Band took part in this Festival in 2010 and was invited to participate once again over Labour Weekend 2013.


The costs involved in travelling and accommodating the 18 piece band over this four day weekend were considerable and without the generous grant made by the Porirua Club, this event would not have been possible.


Only one regular playing member of the Liberty Swing Band was unable to travel to Christchurch but an arrangement was made for the Bass player from another Big Band to help us out and our lead trumpet player helped them out in return. Several of the band member’s partners and supporters also accompanied the Band.


To save on travel costs, the majority of the Band sailed to Picton on the Bluebridge Ferry on Friday 25 October, drove to Christchurch in three hired vehicles, shared accommodation in The Garden Hotel then returned to Wellington the same way on Monday 28 October.


The Band performed four free concerts for the public of Christchurch at venues especially chosen in the severely damaged CBD area, all of which were well attended.  “The Restart Mall”, “The Transitional Cathedral”, “The Pallet Pavillion” and the temporary “Court Theatre”.     We also shared the stage with five other Big Bands at the “Gala Ball” in the Cashmere Club on the Saturday night.


Throughout the weekend the festival organisers had arranged for several seminars and workshops and many of the band members attended the Rodger Fox Jazz Orchestra 50th anniversary concert.


The Music Director and Band Committee were delighted with the success of this weekend which helped bond the Band together, both musically and socially.   It was also an opportunity to mix with like-minded Big Band musicians from other parts of the country and listen to other Big Band’s styles of playing and repertoire.    It is intended to make similar Labour Weekend trips a feature of the Liberty Swing Band’s annual calendar and all members are very indebted to the encouragement and financial support offered by the Porirua Club.