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Pitch Perfect Production

BBC Big Band and Black Voices
Sun 15 July
Symphony Hall

Did you attend one of the Birmingham events? Send us your comments, and check out the photo gallery. More photos coming soon!


Simeon Omar.
I had a great time singing at Symphony Hall, had a blast! really enjoyed singing with 'Black Voices' thanks to them for giving me an eight bar solo in their song and Thank you guys too. 'Peace!' :0)

Sam Davidson
Had a great time playing for the first time in 20 years! The Big Band and conductor were great! Hope to join in again next year. Can we jhave the music in advance next time? Thanks again.

Denise Bicknell
After a dreary wet journey to Birmingham I can only say it was well worth it!!!The Black Voices \were wonderful and the whole performance served as a reminder of how much iIam now missing singing.Would love to do more events loke this please!

A big thank you for the opportunity to play with the big band. Wonderful many achieving a dream of playing at such brilliant venues. The professionalism of every one concerned shone through. The way forward for greater awareness of music and the pleasures of playing in a a big orchestra group. With young and mature players a brilliant way to demonstrate how age is no barrier. Living in Salcombe Devon a big effort to get there, any chance something for us Bristol or further south! WELL DONE THE BBC. LETS PLAY IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR !

Christopher Walsh
A fabulous afternoon; we throughly enjoyed ourselves; still singing!! Thanks for giving us the opportunity in attending such a lovely event and for making our day. We were 2 autistic young adults with our career singing.

Victoria Clayton
I now have the big band 'bug'! What a day! Jiggs was awesome and the members of the BBC Big Band took us under their wing making us feel anything was possible. i had a problem with my trumpet just as the performance was about to begin and one of the band members let me use his spare instrument. i loved the whole experience and felt amazing as my husband and three children watched me peforming. More events like this please.

Simon Rawlings
wow you managed to put some pictures up BUT ONLY OF THE MORNING PERFORMANCE PLEASE PLEASE PUT THE AFTERNOON ONES UP ASAP PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tom Ryan
What a wonderful morning in Birmangam last Sunday. I met some fellow banjoists (not many of us around) and a thoroughly enjoyable time. Also managed to get my picture taken and on the site !! (Fame at last)!! Please do more of this, I suspect ot was enjoyed by everyone and a repaet performance should definitely be on the cards. Well done to everyone at Symphony Hall and the BBC.

Alan Nunn
More photos in now...much better! Thanks!! Alan

Annie ( Sax )
Birmingham July 15th PM session. Can't believe I'm still on a high. I can't believe that I was not nervous at all, this must have been to the fun, relaxed, atmosphere that the BBC Crew put us in. I must say TIM STEINER was brilliant and I loved his T- Shirt.BBC lets do it again !!!!!! :) :)

Alan Nunn
Oh dear..fantastic event - shame about the photos....what a let-down. Alan

Hi, what a wonderful experience! Initially I thought “how can we play such a fast piece as Sing, Sing, Sing”; but Jiggs Wigham was great in his encouragement and enthusiasm. Thanks to the other BBC Big Band members who were a great help. An occasion I shall never forget. Thanks a lot!

Peter K
A fantastic morning spent with the BBC Big Band and Black Voices. A real treat. Percussion instrctors were really commited and funny with great communication skills. The buzz from the performance and following conductors signals was a real high ! I now have a fever and the only cure is more COWBELL !! Cheers PK.

simon rawlings
hi great event but STILL NOOO PICTURES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob & Mary Mantom
OUR DAD WAS A SOLOIST AT SYMPHONY HALL! We had a great time watching, everyone did so well!

Steve Tyler
What a wonderful experience! So much fun and enjoyment was had by everyone. The music was first rate and led by the enthusiastic composer, Tim Steiner. 'Boy Oh Boy,' what a terrific beat! The Big Band are something else! Bring on the next music making event!!!

Diane Veale
Thank you for a thoroughtly enjoyable morning. Very well organised and executed. I sang with the Black Voices and was really impressed with the way they led us through the piece we learned for our performance. Their passion really came across and I came away inspired and uplifted.It was also great to meet other people who had such a love of music and irrespective of ability, just wanted to get together and sing or play. (Top marks to the soloists, by the way - you were great). A great initiative BBC. It would be good to see more events like this.

George Bly
Reading all of the other comments I am obviously a lone voice as I found the day disappointing. While the people,band,staff were very enthusiastic I found it akin to a music lesson of my school days ie grab that and bang or shake it and then let's have a group session. I was looking for more of a 'workshop' approach and a demonstration of an instrument and the opportunity to try it. On another point there were far too many instructions given. Unpopular as it may be that's my opinion.

Barbara Putt
I had a fantastic morning at symphony hall on Sunday In the percussion group with a tambourine -even played solo at symphony Hall!! The pecussion tutors were great. More of the same please

Vicky Ajose
I loved it, will do it again, now and ever more!!

dawn and Ben bishop
we enjoyed the experience greatly. Thank you for the opportunity to join in with this music event and can we have more of the same or similar.

Gary Beardmore
Excellent event, well organised and everybody helpful. I am not musical at all, but will now be taking up an instument after this experience. A priviledge to be on same stage as BBC Big Band and The Black Voices and appriciate different styles off music. The enthusiasm of two percussion teachers made the event more enjoyable.

Simon Rawlings
very good afternoon ity would bne great to see some pictures please its now tuesday !

Sue Deane
Play It Again at Birmingham is the second of these events I have been fortunate and privileged enough to attend this year. The first one at Watford was tremendous - I came home buzzing and as I anticipated, Birmingham's event achieved exactly the same. A fantastic afternoon shared with top professional musicians and singers and numerous keen and enthusiastic amateurs which culminated in the most marvellous and unique rendition of "Sing, Sing, Sing"! Thank you BBC. More of this please. The masses just don't know what they're missing!!!

Tim Robbins
My partner sings classical repertoire and I play African percussion, so we don't often get the chance to perform at the same gig; imagine our delight to learn that the piece of music we were to play along to was one of my "Desert Island Discs" SING, SING, SING! What a treat, what a great atmosphere. Still buzzing from the experience!

Donna Mc Donald
I played Clarinet in the morning session and it was superb to be able to play with a Big Band. I throughly enjoyed it and would love to do more of these workshops. It would be good to have had a longer session with them (all day) the 3 hours flew by. It would also have been good to go away with the clarinets and make the musc even tighter and slicker. On the whole, a fantastic and unforgettable day. More please !!!

Jayne Kerry
Hi! Thanks for a brilliant morning, thoroughly enjoyed by myself and my family! My oldest son (10) had a great time playing cornet and my younger son was well looked after by the 2 professional trombonists who took him under their wing - thank you! Please can we have another event like this? So inspiring!

Overall I enjoyed the event, but as some others have pointed out the claim that 'Play It Again' was suitable for absolute beginners was somewhat misleading. I've been playing clarinet for 4 years but found the tempo way too fast. If it could have been slowed down even more for the first couple of times through it might have helped. Still by the end I could play some bits of the piece in tempo!

Emily Lawrence
I had a wonderful time thank you. I have not played my saxophone properly in at least 15 years and with 3 children under 7 years old no time. The children and my husband enjoyed the performance. Although I couldnt play everything as fast as I used to I had a good go and that is all that matters, I really hope there will be another event I can attend in the future!

My 14 year old son & I attended the afternoon session. We were part of the percussion section. We had an absolute ball! I was extremely nervous as I haven't played an instrument for many years so to play on the Symphony Hall stage was brilliant! My son thought the whole thing was wicked! Thank you BBC!

Mark Ward
Having never played in front of people before and playing along side some amazing experienced players made it a fantastic morning. I would like to say a big thank you to all involved with the arrangements and hopefully the experience will be repeated.

Graham Saunders
A superb day out at PIA Birmingham. Front of house staff were brilliant; helpful, cheerfuil and very accommodating. Thanks to them. Although registered for trumpet pm I was able to join the percussion group for the morning session. It was amazing to be part of that group and to witness the degree of coordination of the participants achieved by your instructors. In the afternoon, it was the experience of a life time to sit next to Derek on trumpet in the BBC BIg Band. His encouragement was first class. I would say though, that I found the improvisng on a pentatonic scale in a transposed key somewhat daunting. However, Derek got me through it.Well Done BBC. To paraphrase "DO IT AGAIN" - soon.Thanks to all involved

Just returned from the event at Symphony Hall, absolutely brilliant morning session. The BBC orchestra and Black Voices were superb, could you arrange more events like PIA please. I loved the way all the different groups went away, came back together for the performance of a life time. The soloists were great too. I can now say, I sang at Symphony Hall, with an orchestra. I met and spoke to people who just came along on the morning because they enjoyed music. I met one lady who had just started to teach herself to play the guitar, she wasn't phased by the fact that everyone else in her group could play to a certain standard, she was inspired by group members to continue learning. Another lady I met actually lives a couple of roads away from me. She wants to join a choir, because she enjoys singing so much. Please could we have more such fun, family events.

I have just returned from the day at Birmingham. Just to let you know it was great, I have not enjoyed myself so much! Every part of the day was brilliant. Thank you for the chance to take part.

Colleen Crawford
I thought the whole event was inspiring and I throughly enjoyed the afternoon - it just was over too quick. Thank you to everyone who put in such a sterling effort .Please do it again!

Tony & Gill Fox
We both loved the event - Gill played with the flutes and I did vocal jam with Black Voices.But if we'd known better what you were planning with BBC Big Band then we'd have been sure to bring our old friend Andy Hamilton. Andy came to Brum in 1950 and formed the Blue Notes with a friend called Sam on the piano! They got to the Top 20 UK Hits. That was then - now he's opening at the Town Hall in October in his 86th year.But here's the main reason he would have loved to join us all on Sunday.:-In 2000 he thought of his grandchildren and their young friends growing up in Ladywood - one of the poorest wards of the City but just a quarter mile from Symphony Hall.We helped him set up a Jazz Youth Music after school club at the neighbourhood health centre.Without any support from West Midlands Arts they:* acquired silver instruments, from local music stores or individuals* recruitred a core of music tutor mentors* worked with the youth & community workers based at the Health & Community Centre, so that * after school, Music school members can book in and be allocated a practice room (used for health work during the day) and their chosen instrument.* every week or fortnight they have a tutor session, and every 4-6 weeks they come together and* perform for their peers, family and friends.Andy is still aspiring for young musicians around him, and is still looking for funding for a generation who too long have been forgotten - the generation ready to have jazz handed down.That's our story behind Play it Again for Birmingham

Roger mantom
I WAS A SOLOIST AT SYMPHONY HALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what better birthday treat could I have had? Thank you

Janet Jones
What a fantastic morning, the BBC Big Band and black voices were amazing, my 9 year old twins really enjoyed themselves.Very well organised and thoroughly enjoyable.

Steve Cameron-Smith
I have listened and enjoyed the music of the BBC Big Band for some time, but little could I know that I would be on a stage playing sax with them, and being tutored and directed by Jiggs Whigham and colleague musicians.Guys, for three hours you enlightened, enriched, and energised my life & interest in jazz and big band music in what was the most fantastic experience.I am glad to see the Big Band has become associated with the Birmingham Town hall, we want you back here guys, so come on BBC management, 'dig deep in those pockets', more workshops for the people, you are welcome in Birmingham.

Bill Fine
Birmingham 15/7.Thank you so much for a superb, joyous event. Hooray for the BBC Big band, the fantastic Black Voices, everyone who put it together, and the wonderful mixed crowd of people who put their hearts and souls into it. Best day I've had for AGES. More please. Do it again!! Well done BBC: how lucky we are to have you.

alan finnemore
Dear People at the BBCI attended the afternoon seesion at Birmingham Symphony Hall what a great afternoon what a buzz from playing on a great stage such as that. I cannot describe how much I enjoyed it. My thanks to you all and inparticular to Jiggs Whigham and the BBCBig Band. Also my thanks to the Ladies in the Black voices they were all brilliant. Again my thanks and a very big request to play it again NEXT year PLease!!!

Elliot Rollason
it was absolutely fabulous! the organisation was brilliant, the bbc big band were so nice to us and the music was fantastic. one of the best times of my life

Lord Franklyn Van-den-langenberg
well done to the BBC Big Band for super day out, Play it again programme. The people who led the course were 100% commited. I found it very informative, I enjoyed myself as did the other players. A great time was had by all ! regards Franklyn...

John Ward
Sunday 15th July pm - Symphony Hall, BirminghamI'd like to thank the other guy with the tambourine for putting me right. Obviously I knew you didn't blow it but it's nice to have confirmation. Also, thanks to the tutors who had buckets of patience and worked tirelessly throughout the day. To the band, conducter and singers, marvellous. Talent by the shedful. Thank you for a great fun day.

Jan and Robyn
Thank you so much for an excellent morning of music making. The atmosphere was so relaxed and the musicians so friendly. My daughter loved Black Voices and the opportunity to try out jazz singing for the first time. Looking forward to the concert at the Town Hall in October - we've booked our tickets!

Ann King
We had a really good time. It definitely inspired us to make music. It would be better as an all day event, so that we could attempt something more challenging. The BBC Orchestra were fantastic!

tom hoult
this event was most enjoyable, so much so that i would happily pay twice as much for my license fee should there be more events like this!!!! thanks for a great day out!!!tom

Geoff Adams
Excellent day, very professional and well organised, it was the kick that I needed to take me to a higher standard of playing. A sincere thanks to all concerned. Geoff Adams.

It was very good and very fun, I really enjoyed it!!

Phill Jones
I attended the morning session at Birmingham yesterday, and I am still on a high, it was the experience of a lifetime for an inexperienced amature like myself. I cannot say enough about commitment and enthusiasm of Jiggs, his band and the "Play It Again" team. Thank you all, Keep up the good work .P.S.Any chance of some photos, I'm the guy in the black shirt on the end playing the alto Sax,

We attended as mother and daughter in the singing slot. What a great way to spend a sunday afternoon! The 'Black Voices' group were superb and gifted at giving instruction. The auditorium was alive and it was, to say the least, good for the soul. You may have converted me to Jazzzzzzz!

What a great day! Not only did I start playing the banjo again after over 30 years of just dusting it, but I met some great musicians and had the chance to help some beginners. The BBC Big Band are just fantastic and I am proud to have played along side them. DO IT AGAIN!!!

Lynn Jones
This event was something that made my license fee worthy of there should be more of these type of events!A resounding Thumbs Up to the BBC, the people were helpful and friendly a true inspiration to everyone!WELL DONE all involved!!

David Smith
I I attended the afternoon session which I thoroughly enjoyed. The experience of playing with so many other people in the Symphony hall was incredible. I was a bit dismayed however that the scores available (Saxaphone particularly) appeared to be of about grade 5 standard. I was under the impression that these workshops were for people of all abilities, I think for the first hour or so many people were all at sea! The piece chosen was also very fast and a lot of people including myself couldn't keep up at times.I think it was beneficial to be able to get to speak to professional musicians and gain some insight into how a Big Band works. Overall though it was very enjoyable experience and if the opportunity arose I would certainly go again and recommend it to my friends.

Marghoob Mohamed
Absolutely excellent experience.

Steve (Percussion group)
What a magnificent day! It was great to hear the BBC Big Band and Black Voices and to be loosened up before our individual sessions by Jigs (jaaaaaaaaz) Wigham.The percussion group was licky to have two very inventive, informative and humorous leaders. The music we made at the end with the band, sounded great! A truly brilliant day, and one that has certainly spurred me on to take up the drums again.I confess, a secret highlight was also meeting Erik Stams, star of the Aled Jones' Play It Again programme, who entertained us all before hand with some blistering drumming intespersed with lessons, given freely, to anyone brave enough to volunteer in front of a large crowd.

Hazel McCarthy Private Music Teacher
I went to symphony Hall and I played with the BBC Big Band, I would like to say that I enjoyed the whole experience. I hope that the BBC would do the same next year. I would also like to know if you are going to do other events this year. I think that you should televise it, as it would give a wider audiance out there, that it is never to late to lean or take up an instrument. keep up the good work! As a teacher and musician this is good idea and I support it.

I went to the afternoon event - which was absolutely fantastic! I hope that you do something like this again in the future.

Natalia Brightmore
I really enjoyed my afternoon at the BBC Play It Again event. The experience was more than I had hoped and it was great to do something worthwhile with such a lovely group of people. It definitely felt good singing on that stage and hearing everyone playing their instruments in front of me. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved and I hope to be involved in any future BBC events.

Sarah Banks
Thank you all for the 'Play it again' experience in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on Sunday morning, it was stimulating, uplifting, inspiring and fulfilled all my dreams and more. As a small child I was taught to play the clarinet, every year I watched the Last Night of the Proms filled with so much enthusiasm, desperate to be part of it... Over the years I have played with several amateur wind bands, jazz bands and dance bands but none recently. As a teenager I decided to pursue a non-musical career and keep the music as a hobby, but to play with the pro’s was always a dream……… my big band dream has now finally come true. To be given the opportunity to play baritone sax with musicians of such a high caliber was an honor and a privilege. Thank you all and I look forward to ‘playing it again’ in the future. .

Alan Nunn
Terrific afternoon. The BBC Big Band is the best and so patient with us ordinary wannabes! Congratulations to everyone for arranging such a fantastic event. More please! Alan

It was a really enjoyable afternoon with friendly people and wonderful musicians. Congratulations to all who were involved.

Joan Davison
A big thank you to the Big Band, had a great day yesterday - another ambition fulfilled to play at the Symphony Hall. Thak you once again, would love to do it again.Joan Davison

Jim McLachlan
What a great day!!! My 2 daughters and I all played in the percussion section and thorough;y enjoyed ourselves. Thanks to everyone at the BBC, great organisational skills must have been needed and everyone was so pleasant and helpful. The Big Band were just fantastic. Lets have more please BBC!! Also wouldn't it be a great idea to roll this sort of thing out for schoolchildren to maybe spark an interest in Music, as sadly our schools in the main aren't doing enough. They seem to regard music as a leisure pastime rather than a serious subject. Such a lot of kids missing out on something they can carry through their entire lifetime. I started drumming when I was 9 or 10 and have been playing/gigging eversince, nearly 50 years and still going. THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE - BRILLIANT!!!

Annie Beddoe, Adam Beddoe, Carlo Kowcun
We absolutely enjoyed the afternoon of 15th July at Birmingham. Big thanks to all involved.Next time if we had the music prior to coming, we would be able to get familiar with it and any new notes to learn.Till the next one. THANKS!!!!

Alan Neilson
my wife (sax) and I (voice) spent the morning with the Big Band and Black Voices at B'ham Symph Hall and I can honestly say, we were thrilled to be a part of the PLay It Again workshop. I sang with Black Voices and their enthusiasm and commitment were infectious.. such wonderfully talented singers. My wife played sax and found the musicians to be so helpful and encouraging, that she is now playing sax at home more than she has done is a year. I am a semi-pro singer/songwriter and was so happy to see so many people inspired to start playing or pick up their dusty instrument. Thanks so much and check out my ep on iTunes (Alan Neilson - Birthday ep)... well no harm in a plug is there!!!Cheers.

Stephen Micklewright
Here is how I've just described the event to my son's cornet teacher:- The Play It Again event had good and not-so-good bits.First it was great to be in the symphony hall, I’d forgotten just how swish it is, and it was also a privilege to get on stage and sit down to play with the professionals. For me as a fan of the sax it was marvellous to get the full force of Martin Williams tenor into my right lughole, it was worth the trip just for that. In fact I had a pretty good time all round. Rebecca and Emma on flute and violin also enjoyed themselves. But for James and several other beginners, that I spoke to, it was overwhelming and rather off putting, rather than fun or inspirational.In fact my impression was that although the BBC had made a point of inviting beginners, they conspicuously failed to cater for them, and left them floundering. So when I asked James this morning what was the best bit of our trip, he said “Lunch”, and the worst was “When they started I didn’t know what to play”. I suppose the organisers gave themselves the sort of problem that any teacher would recognise: too big a class, with too wide an ability range.

Steve Jolliffe
I attended the morning event on Sunday 15 July and would like to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I took up singing 2 years ago (at the tender age of 43.....midlife crisis!) and have enjoyed performing on many occasions during that time. The thrill of the Play It Again event was sharing the stage with so many like-minded people of all ages who were there simply to have fun.Please pass on my thanks to all involved inc compere (can't remember his name but he was superb), BBC Big Band and The Black Voices. They should all be very proud of themselves as they made a lot of people very happy on a dreary wet day in Birmingham. I hope others go on to get the enjoyment out of music that I have been getting in the last couple of years.Thanks so much and let me know of any other events in future please

Steven Birks
An excellent morning! - fun, challenging and inspiring. Playing with the BBC Big Band and the Black Singers was a pleasure and an honour - the improvisation sections were great fun. One thing that would have helped intermediate players, like me, would have been to have the music the week before to give chance to run through the tricky bits.I counted about 20 saxophonists and everyone I spoke to enjoyed the experience.

Phil Evans
It was a great event I played the Bongo drums the whole thing was just great thanks to all the organisers for making a day so enjoyable.Fantastic

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