The West Exe Jazz Band
The Saint Thomas High School Jazz Band, as it then was, first rehearsed as a quartet in summer 1976 at the Headmaster’s suggestion. Membership soon increased and now, 36 years on, we have recently welcomed our 500th member. Four current players have parents who were also in the band!
The band has performed nearly 500 times since its formation and has appeared twice on television as well as in many Devon Schools Proms and two short tours abroad. We regularly give combined concerts with Exeter College Jazz Band and with Exmouth Community College Swing Band as well as giving charity concerts.
The band maintains a varied repertoire including spirituals, big band classics, show themes and popular songs.
Many past members of the band have moved on to other local jazz bands such as the Exeter College Big Band, A.J’s Band, Clyst Vale Big Band and the Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra. They often continue their musical training into higher education and follow musical careers in performing and teaching as well as being involved in other areas such as recording.
We have had three reunion concerts and plans are being made for the next (40 years) in September 2016.
A number of videos of band performances are available via our Jazz Band video archive page.
Dave Parsons, Jazz Band Director