Jazz, Jams and Ghostbusters: What Happens At Music Residentials

I spent the last few days of half term, from Thursday to Saturday, stuck on the moor with no mobile signal (don’t panic though, there was wifi). Why would I, not being an avid moorland rambler or anything, subject myself to this?

Well, as you may have guessed from the title, it was the annual residential coaching course of my jazz orchestra! Each year we decamp to a youth centre on the moor for three full-on days of jazz. Here’s a few things that happened…

  • There was lots of food. You’re “never knowingly underfed” there, as I overheard someone say, and the food is pretty damn good! Evening cake too, this year flapjacks/biscuits/Oreo cupcakes ๐Ÿ˜€
  • Unlimited hot drinks, including tea, coffee, herbal teas, hot chocolate and hot squash. I think I may have formed a slight addiction to hot squash, actually…
  • I watched Ghostbusters for the first time! It’s so bad it’s brilliant, ahaha! Fave quote (that I can remember):ย “WHY WORRY. WE’RE EACH WEARING AN UNLICENSED NUCLEAR ACCELERATER ON OUR BACKS”
  • We formed the best squad ever. I was in a room with four other girls and it was just fab. What can I say, we’re just #squadgoals. Or as my friend would say, #baegoals = #bagels!
  • Said squad rapped. About shortbread and dead people. (Let me explain: there was this tapestry/quilt thing with comments from a school group on the wall in the corridor outside our rooms, so all the girls (12 of us across two rooms) sat out in the corridor and made up a rap from the tapestry. We used GarageBand as a backing and everything. You can tell it was a music residential, can’t you…). My favourite verse went something like, “If you’ve got a problem / go and talk to the head / who wants some shortbread / while we learn about the dead / I love my mate” (Wow, yes, I know). As my friend titled the recording of it, Move Over Eminem, The Rap Gods Have Arrived…
  • Dance mat. With only one working dance mat. Certainly an interesting look, having one person on the dance mat and about ten others randomly jumping around and stomping their feet…And one of the songs was a dubstep version of Spring by Vivaldi. Whaattt?
  • A VICIOUS table tennis/pool/table football tournament. We were supposed to split into table tennis/basketball/dance mat but the roof of the basketball court had holes in so instead we were split into teams and had a big tournament. There was a mix of real competitiveness and pointless attempts to score more goals than home goals (guess which one was me…)
  • A band mix-up thingy. This was where we were all given a piece of previously unseen music and went off in sections to practice it. We were then split into two mixed ability bands, mixing up the senior and junior band, practiced in our bands and then performed one after the other to try and be judged as the best performance. My band was called Clive, and the other one Derek, and guess what? WE WON, WOOP! I think that may be the third win out of four residentials, so YAY!
  • A jam session…this is where you can prepare something or just pick a piece out of a “Real Book” (books full of jazz standards, separated into key – I use the Bb book, because I’m a Bb trumpet). This is the second year I’ve participated, and after a 45-minute warm up (where I did a thing where you play a little bit then the rest of the band plays it back to you), me and four other friends played Southern Man by Akshin Alizadeh. It was AWESOME! I also played I’m Beginning To See The Light, Take Five and another one I don’t know the name of with a load of other people, and did another solo (in IBTSTL). I’M SO PROUD OF MYSELF, YAY ME!
  • A tutorial session with big band conductor and jazz clarinettist Pete Long, where we learnt the Count Basie classic Jumpin’ At The Woodside. Pete focused on getting the rhythm section really tight and making all the horn rhythms really accurate, which ended up sounding pretty good.

And that’s all I can remember right now, though I’ll be sure to add to this if I remember any other moments of Much Banter! What did you do over half term, and have you ever seen Ghostbusters?

Thanks for reading!

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