Swindon’s very own community samba band is now two years old! Time has flown since Swindon Borough Council awarded a Grass Roots community grant to the band to help get it started.
Since then Swindon Samba has gone from strength to strength, playing gigs in the summer time at local carnivals and community events and in the freezing cold winter at Christmas celebrations in Cricklade and Wood Street, Old Town. This year has also seen a samba and ska collaboration with the Erin Bardwell Collective, which resulted in an afternoon gig in Old Town Gardens.
Giving something back to the community
Keen to give a little back to the community Swindon Samba will be running free ‘have a go’ workshops on Saturday 22 October, in the Town Hall Studios, Regent Circus. There will be two 45 minute sessions open to the public staring at 2pm and 3pm.
Commitment to Swindon arts
The Big Arts Day this year saw Swindon Samba play its biggest gig. As part of the event finale, the band, accompanied by ‘flash mob’ dancers, led the very exciting ‘Big Finale’ parade through the grounds of Lydiard Park followed by hundreds of dancing and cheering people.
During the Big Arts Day Swindon Samba ran two workshops to give people a chance to have a bash on the different percussion instruments used, namely the surdo – the big bass drums; the caixa – which is like a snare drum; the agogo bells, the tambourim, and the shakers.
The Big Arts Day workshops proved really popular so Swindon Samba has decided to offer similar, free ‘taster sessions’ in Swindon town centre at the start of the half-term week.
Jo Beal, Chair of Swindon Samba said
‘’We’re running these workshops to give people a chance to come and have a go on the instruments, to meet members of the band and have a taste of what it’s like to play in the band. We’ve got a core membership of about 20 people, but would really like to have a few more people come and join us, so this is a way of giving people a chance to have a go first. No previous experience is necessary. The workshops will be fun and informal, and will give people a taste of what it’s like to play samba and hopefully we will infect them with the samba bug! Believe me, it is infectious!
Luke Winton, Band Leader, said
“As a community band part of our reason for being is to encourage participation in arty activity – we all know getting involved in something is really good for you and we’re aiming to do that with these workshops. If we get more members it also means we can do more gigs, support more local events – it’s good all round”
Swindon Samba is a voluntary run, community band, and welcomes anyone from the age of 14 upwards to join in. There are video clips of the band in action at www.swindon-samba.co.uk where you can also find out more about the workshops.